Shaping up ethical frameworks of emerging AI technologies

Sociology, AI and Ethics? Dafna Burema, researcher at the Cluster Science of Intelligence (SCIoI), explains how this is not just a possible career trajectory but also a fascinating and fulfilling lifestyle: “Spot on – Postdoc Portraits” is a brand new video format of the Postdoc Academy (Berlin University Alliance), which was implemented at the TU by Team digit of the ZEWK and presents fascinating insights into the world of postdocs in Berlin. The individual episodes explore career paths, take a look at future goals and examine the driving forces behind the scientific enthusiasm of postdocs.

Science of Intelligence (SCIoI) was featured in the 2nd episode of Team digit’s new video format with an interview of our postdoctoral researcher Dafna Burema, a sociologist specializing in AI and robot ethics. Her work focuses on studying the social implications of technological developments, with the aim to understand their societal meaning.


The scientist reveals she always had an inclination to question things and try to understand what is right and what is wrong. According to her own words, “AI’s outcomes can sometimes go horribly wrong, and since someone needs to report about it – this is what I do”. She goes on to share how diverse her job can be: from reading and drafting papers to participating in scientific outreach events or getting tangled up in endless video calls and meetings, an interdisciplinary career among different disciplines and institutions has it all.

Dafna earned her PhD at the University of Bremen, focusing on the topic of social robots in eldercare and the biases they carry. She has a particular interest in critical theory and uses qualitative research methods in her work. At SCIoI she works on the project “Ethical implications and debates on analytic and synthetic intelligence” while at the same time she contributes to etami’s (Ethical and Trustworthy Artificial and Machine Intelligence) efforts in translating European and global principles for ethical AI into actionable and measurable guidelines.


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