Hamburg, 8. February 2024: The American AI researcher, consultant and manager Meredith Whittaker is awarded this year's Helmut Schmidt Future Prize. She is president of the non-profit Signal Foundation, responsible for the messenger service of the same name, which is designed to ensure the security of its users.
The Helmut Schmidt Future Prize will be awarded on 15 May 2024 by the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung and The New Institute at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg. Since 2022, the award has celebrated innovative achievements in the fields of democracy, society and technology. Following in the footsteps of Ugandan activist and social entrepreneur Vanessa Nakate and pioneering Finnish politician Sanna Marin, technology advocate Meredith Whittaker will now be honoured in this third year.
"Artificial intelligence is more than ever an issue for humanity, and the question of how to develop it in a humane and public welfare-orientated way is of the utmost relevance. If anyone can help us move forward, it is Meredith Whittaker. Whether as a rebellious Google developer, a professor at New York University or a government advisor, she is committed to the responsible and humane development of AI. A major challenge and an influential campaigner for solutions: This combination is enough for the jury of the Helmut Schmidt Future Prize to honour Meredith Whittaker this year and thus also set an example: In innovation oriented towards the common good, the central values of the prize 'Democracy, Society, Technology' come together, and this is almost paradigmatic in the context of the rapid development of AI", stated the jury in explaining its decision.
The jury for the Helmut Schmidt Future Prize this year was composed of: Jury Chairman Uwe Jean Heuser (Die Zeit), Alexander Birken (CEO of the Otto Group), Antje Boetius (Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute at the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research), Francesca Bria (President of the Italian National Innovation Fund), Sanna Marin (former Prime Minister of Finland, advisor to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change), Alaa Murabit (Director of Health at the Gates Foundation), Vanessa Nakate (climate activist and social entrepreneur), Erck Rickmers (Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The New Institute) and Meik Woyke (Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung).
As part of the Helmut Schmidt Future Prize, the Helmut Schmidt Future Festival will once again be held at Leuphana University in Lüneburg from 13 to 15 May 2024. The ideas developed by the young future designers at the festival will be presented on the stage of the Thalia Theater on the evening of the award ceremony.