2020-01-09 | Knowledge construction in the digital age – Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress at Leibniz Lectures in Berlin
At the end of the year, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress visited the cultural centre Urania in Berlin in the context of a lecture series of the Leibniz Association to address one of 2019 central questions in digitisation: How is knowledge created in times of Wikipedia and eco chambers?
“Before digitisation, knowledge was mainly imparted by experts. Now it is often collaboratively generated online but also influenced by the subjective convictions of the communities,” Prof. Cress provocatively emphasized at the beginning of her lecture. In the following, the head of the IWM illustrated knowledge construction processes using Wikipedia. Due to the the highly dynamic exchange and the rigid rules of the Wiki community, articles are created which in terms of their quality come close to entries of the renowned Britannica Encyclopaedia. Yet, Wikipedia is not completely neutral. Knowledge systems mirror the norms of their respective community and draw people into their own set of rules, as do other online encyclopaedias like Metapedia and Conservapedia. Cress pointed out: “In order to secure a high level of quality, knowledge construction needs friction, dialogue and disruptive algorithms.”