Annual Conference of the DGPuK Specialist Group Media Language — Media Discourses

From 29th of Feb­ru­ary to 1st of March 2024, the annu­al con­fer­ence of the DGPuK spe­cial­ist group Media Lan­guage — Media Dis­courses took place in Karlsruhe. 

Com­mu­nic­a­tion in the digit­al space and on social media is access­ible and diverse: New actresses/actors such as influ­en­cers can build large com­munit­ies and some­times reach even lar­ger audi­ences than tra­di­tion­al media. Lin­guist­ic­ally ori­ented media research exam­ines how under­stand­ing and how a com­mon ground can be estab­lished in the digit­al space. Syn­thet­ic media and the increase in fake news and con­spir­acy nar­rat­ives exacer­bate these chal­langes. Under­stand­ing is not always tied to facts but often to coher­ence. There­fore, the main ques­tion of the con­fer­ence was: How do dis­course par­ti­cipants per­ceive this com­mu­nic­a­tion and how should under­stand­ing and com­mu­nic­a­tion be assessed from the per­spect­ive of reception?

Vari­ous research­ers explored this ques­tion in their present­a­tions — includ­ing Dr. Fabi­an Ruth with his talk Evid­ence-Based Strategies for Audi­ence-Ori­ented Com­mu­nic­a­tion in Know­lege-Con­vey­ing Online Present­a­tions, Johanne May­er with Strategies of Pan­dem­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tion on You­Tube and Ins­tagram and Anna Köhler and Salina Weber from the RHET AI Centre with Chat­G­PT as the Ideal Tutor? A Ques­tion of eth­os.

Earli­er, dur­ing the open­ing remarks, Prof. Annette Leßmöll­mann provided a recap of the read­ing and pan­el dis­cus­sion of the pre­vi­ous day, which focused on the theme "Brave New Text World" and delved into lit­er­ary arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and its impact on soci­ety. The group spokespeople, Dr. Phil­ipp Niemann and Dav­id Pfurtscheller, emphas­ised their anti­cip­a­tion for inter­dis­cip­lin­ary exchange and poin­ted out the cur­rent (com­mu­nic­a­tion) tech­no­lo­gic­al devel­op­ments, whcih are poised at an intriguing crossroad.

Prof. Ker­stin Fisc­her from the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Den­mark delivered a key­note speech on con­vers­ing with robots and com­mu­nic­at­ing with artific­al agents. Addi­tion­ally, she provided insights into her exper­i­ments involving social robots as arti­facts cap­able of pro­cessing and util­ising social sig­nals, and how these were per­ceived by study par­ti­cipants. The focus was on explor­ing how com­mu­nic­a­tion with social robots can be achieved.

Professor Kerstin Fischer is standing in front of a presentation slide that reads "Was verstehen wir unter Verständigung? Interaktionale Theorien der Kommunikation, z.B. Clark (1996)" (German for "what do we associate with understanding? interactional theories of communication, e.g. Clark (1996)".
Prof. Ker­stin Fisc­her from the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Den­mark talks in her key­note speech about com­mu­nic­a­tion with arti­fi­cial agents.

In oth­er present­a­tions, such as Prof. Nina Janich's, the focus lay on expert­ise and (know­ledge) author­it­ies. In her talk titled Are the Experts Wrong? Epi­stem­ic Claims and Accus­a­tions and their Nego­ti­ation in Sci­ence Blogs, she described the nego­ti­ation of know­ledge in sci­ence blogs and the tac­tics used by blog­gers to attrib­ute or deny expert­ise. Examples of this include accus­a­tions of misin­i­form­a­tion, logic­al errors, research errors, or inad­equate justifications.

The con­fer­ence provided insight into the research of vari­ous research groups, includ­ing MIRKKOMM, DiPub­Health, RHET AI, and Jugend präsen­tiert, as well as doc­tor­al and habil­it­a­tion pro­jects, such as that of Dr. Nina Kal­wa.

Over­all, the con­fer­ence shed light on the diverse aspects of digit­al com­mu­nic­a­tion, from the role of influ­en­cers to the nego­ti­ation of expert­ise in sci­ence blogs. Research­ers presen­ted new find­ings and approaches to address­ing the chal­lenges in this field. A com­plete list of the present­a­tions can be found on the con­fer­ence web­site (provided only in German).

For fur­ther inform­a­tion about the con­fer­ence open­ing fea­tur­ing a read­ing by Jörg Piringer and a pan­el dis­cus­sion on gen­er­at­ive lit­er­ary AI, please vis­it: A Brave New World of Texts — read­ing and dis­cus­sion with Jörg Piringer