Addressing socio-technological issues of algorithmic knowledge on the ground

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished abstract


The presentation will discuss work-in-progress on empowering digital media users/citizens/patients/consumers in an age of surveillance capitalism (Zuboff, 2019) and data colonialism (Couldry & Mejias, 2019). Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, algorithms and related media technologies are currently in the centre of scholarly and public debate, especially on how to safeguard and strengthen fundamental rights, ethics and public values within these ubiquitous infrastructures proliferating in society. We start from the observation that the related opportunities and challenges being identified in the multitude of reports and position papers by industry, governments, civil society and academia are often incongruous with what is happening on the ground in organisations and among people dealing with repercussions of algorithms. Therefore we need an ‘on the ground’ research perspective that takes a practice-based look at how domain experts in data science as well as everyday users are engaging with algorithmic knowledge. Based on these findings we discuss socio-technological routes for tackling issues of black-boxed algorithms (Pasquale, 2015) and digital resignation (Draper & Turow, 2019) through ‘dedomestication’. The presentation fits in the VUB Research Chair on ‘Data Protection on the Ground’, which looks at grounding fundamental rights like privacy and data protection in actual professional and social practices, within the context of media, smart cities, health and banking. This is complemented with selected outcome of the projects Flamenco (on citizen engagement), DANDA (on algorithmic bias) and DELICIOS (on delegating decisions to autonomous agents).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2019
EventAlgorithmic Knowledge in Culture and in the Media - Open University of Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 23 Dec 201925 Dec 2019


WorkshopAlgorithmic Knowledge in Culture and in the Media
CityTel Aviv


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