GUARDIAN Project Begins
Aiming to Assist in Personal Digital Protection by Generative AI (18.01.2024)
Förderjahr 2023 / Projekt Call #18 / ProjektID: 6944 / Projekt: GUARDIAN

We are pleased to announce the commencement of the GUARDIAN project, generously funded by the Internet Foundation's Austria through their netidee funding program and led by Soheil Human and Edward Bernroider. The project, bearing the full title "Generative User-centric Assistants for Digital Protection & Controlling," is an initiative focused on improving the way digital protection, privacy and consenting are approached.

At the forefront of the GUARDIAN project are the Personal Digital Protection and Consenting Assistant Systems (PDPCASs), tools designed to support humans using generative AI models and other technologies. These systems are intended to assist a diverse audience, including those with varying levels of expertise in legal or technical matters, different educational backgrounds, and users of all ages. The systems are particularly relevant for individuals interacting with digital tools or services that handle personal data, such as web applications, IoT devices, and VR platforms.

The primary functions of PDPCASs include interpreting and simplifying privacy policies to make them more accessible to users, based on their individual characteristics like age, knowledge, and expertise. Additionally, it aims to clearly convey the potential consequences of privacy decisions (or other online decisions), suggest default options for privacy settings, and adapt privacy-user interfaces according to the specific context and demographics of each user.

Moreover, the GUARDIAN project integrates with the Advanced Data Protection Control protocols (ADPC, ADPC-IoT, & ADPC-KIDS), enhancing communication between data subjects (users) and data controllers (service providers) on issues related to digital protection, privacy and consenting. The use of generative AI in these systems is a noteworthy advancement in aiding users with their digital and privacy management needs.

Through the GUARDIAN project, we aspire to contribute positively to the field of digital protection and privacy, offering support to users in managing their online privacy and consenting in an increasingly digital world. This initiative represents our commitment to addressing the challenges faced by humans in the digital age and our dedication to enhancing "human-compatibility" in the realm of digital protection.


GUARDIAN Generative AI Sustainable Computing Lab Digital Protection

Soheil Human

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Soheil Human has an interdisciplinary and mixed background in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cognitive Science, History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) and Science-Technology-Society (STS). Currently, he is a research and teaching associate at the Institute for Information Systems and New Media of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) and a lecturer at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Vienna. He leads and manages several interdisciplinary research projects and initiatives (listed below) and teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Prior to his current position at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Soheil conducted research and managed multidisciplinary projects in several universities and institutes, including Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Austrian Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI), Research Studios Austria (RSA), etc. Besides his academic career, he has been coaching and consulting more than 40 start-ups and corporations. Moreover, he has been involved in diverse projects run by national and international NGOs or agencies, such as United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Soheil is engaged in a broad portfolio of research aiming to empower humans and develop sustainable solutions in the digital economy. In his projects, he conducts multidisciplinary research on human needs & values, digital privacy, human-centric information systems and algorithmic accountability. Soheil Human applies a wide range of theories and methods from Philosophy, Cognitive & Information Economics, Conceptual & Computational Cognitive Modelling, Artificial Intelligence, and Semantic Web in his research. His other research interests involve digital rights, pluralism & epistemic disagreements, predictive processing, and socio-technical imaginaries.
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