Prof. Dr. Felix Naumann

Paint it Black - Ethical Data Analysis

(the course is canceled)


Any technology, while advancing knowledge and capabilities of society, can simultaneously be misused. Together, we will explore the potential of misusing recent advances in computer sciences, and more specifically in information management. The core idea of the seminar is to systematically analyze all published papers of several 2019 computer science conference proceedings, examining the presented technology, the use-cases, the datasets and the conducted experiments. Based on the insights we will develop a classification of possibly misuses and categorize the articles accordingly. In addition, we will design and categorize possible remedies to address ethical problems in scientific papers and scientific output. We will jointly write a corresponding report of our findings, insights and ideas.


This seminar is open for six bachelor-students and six master-students to for six mixed teams. In case of more applicants, students with a database background will be given preference, and otherwise we will use a random selection.

Each team will have different tasks throughout the semester. While the planning is not complete, we plan to have sessions on the following topics 

  1. Introduction, organisation, grading, motivation
  2. Student teams give 5min statements about prepared topics (based on papers / movements / initiatives)
    • Ethics, algorithmic bias, fairness, reproducibility, privacy, legal matters, etc.
  3. All: categorize/classify types and degrees of problems / misuse
    • What could go wrong
  4. Each team presents one (historical) instance where research led to problematic use
  5. Each team presents selected papers from one proceedings and classifies them according to our misuse-potential classes
    • Including best and worst cases
  6. Each team presents use cases mentioned in their papers
  7. Each team presents a technical idea to prevent misuse


Das Seminar findet einmal wöchentlich statt: Dienstags 13:30 - 15:00 in Raum F-2.10, Campus II, Haus F

Der erste Termin am 15.10.19 findet im Seminarraum im Haus F, F-E.06, Campus I statt.

Der folgende Ablaufplan ist vorläufig:

15.10. - F-E.06Einführung - offen für alle InteressentenFelix Naumann
22.10.Seminarauswahl und Themenzuordnung - keine AnwesenheitAlle Interessenten
29.10.entfällt - 20 Jahre HPI-Feier 
05.11.20-min Päsentationen zu ausgewählten ThemenDrei Teams
12.11.20-min Päsentationen zu ausgewählten ThemenDrei Teams
19.11.5-min Präsentationen zu historischen MissbrauchsfällenJedes Team
26.11.Sammlung und Klassifikation ethischer Probleme der InformatikAlle
10.12.15-min Vorstellung von 10 ausgewählten Artikeln je eines KonferenzbandsDrei Teams
17.12.15-min Vorstellung von 10 ausgewählten Artikeln je eines KonferenzbandsDrei Teams
23.12. -  03.01.entfällt - Akademische Weihnachtsferien 
07.01.10-min Vorstellung aller use-cases der ausgewählten AritkelJedes Team
21.01. Alle
28.01.10-min Vorstellung: Ideen zur MissbrauchsverhinderungJedes Team