Artificial Intelligence, Smart Cities, Big Data: There is a lot of buzz about digital innovations. Yet, technology is not all about codes and numbers. It is part of a pervasive societal change. MOTIF is a research institute and creative agency that operates at the intersection of culture and technology in order to guide organisations towards their digital future.

Zeichenfläche – 2

Advances in big data and machine learning have increased the public interest in artificial intelligence. Yet, many cases show that AI-applications can have biases or flaws. We advocate for a more diverse, open and responsible approach to AI.


  • Ethics in Artificial Intelligence Talk
  • Ethics in Artificial Intelligence Workshop
  • Ethics in Artificial Intelligence Check
  • Ethics by Design Co-Creating Sessions
  • White Paper


You want to be prepared for the use of AI?

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 Ethics in Artificial Intelligence Talk

In this talk we discuss what artificial intelligence actually is and which harms its implementation can cause. From bias to transparency we give an overview on the current social and ethical issues of artificial intelligence. We show how they can be approached from organisational perspectives. We have held this talk at several institutions such as Polis180 or Fachhochschule Puch-Salzburg.




In the self-designed board game PITCH TANK, business ideas emerge within seconds. In three phases the players develop their idea, collect know-how, and choose their business model. With questions such as “What happens if your fashion brand suddenly has to work with AI?” or “How can I obtain venture capital with my idea of a  smart watering-can?” they have to meet the challenges of the start-up world with creativity and boldness.

Image: UdK Berlin


Research on Artificial Intelligence

In this research project the social imaginaries of AI are investigated through interviews with machine learning engineers in different industries. The paper shows that the lack of consensus about what AI actually is, creates space for imaginaries that are central in the way AI is created, shaped and legitimised in society.


Data Walking

Data Walking is a workshop format that challenges the current understanding of data. By walking through, investigating, mapping, discussing and visualising data, it aims to stimulate new ideas and debates around widespread datafication. Developed by Alison Powell, data walking constitutes a new form of reading (smart) cities. We have conducted the workshop at various conferences such as re:publica or information+.

Image: William Schmidt


MOTIF is an independent think tank founded by Katrin Fritsch and Helene von Schwichow. As we have both backgrounds in science and industry, we like to research urgent societal questions and to translate complex contexts into creative, accessible formats. 
Critical, yet constructive. Future-oriented, yet based on the present. Tech-savvy, yet human-centric. Interested? Contact us:

MOTIF is an independent research institute and creative agency founded by Katrin Fritsch and Helene von Schwichow. As we have both backgrounds in science and industry, we are able to link different contexts such as cultural studies, digital technologies, and strategic communication. This allows for an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on long-term developments rather than short-term hypes. The digital sphere is our area of expertise. Our aspiration is to work on cutting-edge innovations without losing the sight on larger economic and cultural dynamics.