Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Interactions between Humans and Technology

Seizing Opportunities and Understanding Risks


In today’s industrial and knowledge-based society, technology is a key factor in almost all areas of life. Technology offers protection and enables mobility and communication, but it also creates risks. Science and technology have to react to fundamental societal challenges. Use of renewable energy sources or social and ecological globalization will hardly be managed without scientific reflection or technical innovation. At the KIT Humans and Technology Center, more than 400 scientists study the interactions of humans and technology, on the one hand, and science and technology, on the other. They address aspects of the relationship between humans and technology that are relevant to society from social, ethical, cultural, political, economic, legal, and psychological perspectives. In this way, the KIT Humans and Technology Center contributes to understanding, initiating, and evaluating socially required and technically challenging transformation processes.

Research Highlights

Within the real-world lab District Future – Urban Lab, inhabitants of the Oststadt district of Karlsruhe analyze how local life can be made more sustainable. Life, business, transportation, education or social cooperation – everything is connected, everything is important to the price-winning project run by KIT’s Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis. In contrast to this, Kopernikus projects that are covered by one of the biggest German initiatives relating to the energy transition address the whole system. Within these projects, scientists study the socioeconomic framework conditions of the transformation of the power grid, evaluate the lifecycles of new energy technologies, study the impacts of fluctuating energy supply on industrial production, and investigate the energy transition as part of a transformation process that affects entire society.