Rapid advances in machine learning have prompted much debate about the sinister implications of ‘black-box’ algorithms. Yet fears about the opacity of computer code are as old as software itself, writes Kathrin Passig. Indeed, black boxes are all around us, not just inside our computers…
Consensus among online communities may all too often prove fragile if not illusory. But, writes Kathrin Passig, as long as Internet users can adapt to groups that actually agree on only a select few issues, there is no need to lose faith in social media.
No wonder the Germans accepted the idea of Europe so readily after 1945, writes Rainer Hank: they did not need to change their habits of thought greatly. Moreover, widespread ignorance about this problematic continuity poses yet another threat to mutual trust in Europe.
Citizenship: A relic of European legal culture?
Global economic, informational and migratory flows cause the nation state to seem increasingly outdated. Yet individual rights are still best protected through national citizenship, argues historian Dieter Gosewinkel. In the course of the twentieth century, ethnic and discriminatory forms of citizenship gave way to an inclusive concept that is worth preserving today.
Desperately seeking women
Gender quotas were first discussed over thirty years ago; where they have been introduced, they have successfully offset structural discrimination against women. Evidence shows that nothing changes without gender quotas – so why do many countries still not operate them? Concentrating on the German situation, political scientist Beate Rössler re-states the case.