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DIZH promotes digital resilience and media literacy with innovative projects

The funded projects deal with data protection and digital self-protection, media literacy and digital resilience as well as AI assistance and trust in new technology.

Current developments such as artificial intelligence (AI) and increasingly easy access to digital tools are accelerating and expanding the range of possibilities in the creative use of digital content and formats, but also harbor the risks of uncontrolled use. The DIZH innovation program is responding to this dynamic. As part of the 3rd Rapid Action Call, six projects are being funded that contribute to strengthening digital resilience and security: they raise awareness of data protection and address the negative effects of unrealistic AI-generated body images. They also promote media literacy and critical thinking through the development of interactive tools and research into the use of AI in journalism. Last but not least, they strengthen digital resilience through game-based learning and improve trust in AI-supported applications in healthcare.

Example of unrealistic images generated by AI (Generated by DALL-E 3), prompted by Paula Muhr
Example of unrealistic images generated by AI (Generated by DALL-E 3), prompted by Paula Muhr

Digital resilience and self-protection

Despite data protection concerns, many young people carelessly share personal data online, which is known as the data protection paradox. The “AI-Strong” project aims to overcome this contradiction by activating personal involvement. Teaching materials are intended to promote digital self-protection among teenagers and young adults.

The growing dissatisfaction with their own bodies among young people is often reinforced by the portrayal of idealized body images in the media. The “UnRealBody” project is developing an intervention to protect young people from the negative influences of unrealistic AI-generated body images and to strengthen their digital resilience.

Media competence

The project “Digital resilience: Tool for AI and deepfake literacy among young people” is developing an interactive online tool. It integrates elements of source criticism, storytelling and science communication to improve critical thinking and media literacy.

The project “AI Literacy in Swiss Journalism” researches the use of AI in Swiss news media and develops measures to strengthen the AI literacy of journalists and audiences.

Innovative learning methods and trustworthy AI applications

Cyber Safari” promotes the digital resilience of young people through playful learning. Interactive quests at various stations strengthen media skills and combine digital learning with physical activity.

The aim of the “TRUST-RAD” project is to integrate trust mechanisms into radiological AI assistance tools to ensure the reliability and relevance of the generated content. A functional prototype of a trust component with Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) is being developed.

The projects offer innovative solutions to the challenges posed by digital technologies. Financial support for these projects is provided via the DIZH special loan, which comprises grants of between CHF 15,000 and CHF 75,000 per project. In addition, the universities participate equally in the financing through matching funds. The projects have a maximum duration of 12 months.

The innovation program is a central instrument of the DIZH. Through various innovation projects between Zurich’s universities and the private and public sectors in the field of digitalization, research findings are to be brought closer to practice and made available for application. Conversely, the needs and experiences of the application partners should flow into science. The following characteristics of innovation are essential here: willingness to take risks, disciplinary diversity, value creation and collaboration. The innovation program’s funding is awarded in transparent, competitive procedures. Within the framework of calls for proposals, the best projects submitted are selected by a joint jury of the partner universities and supported in accordance with the available financial framework. Different calls for proposals are launched each year.