Opinion Piece: Why we need a CERN for AI

The late visionary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was not only a leading scientist in the study of black holes, quantum mechanics and cosmology, he also professed strong views about artificial intelligence (AI). AI, he warned, could be “the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which.”  Hawking’s fear was that not […]

Digital public: looking at what algorithms actually do

The development and expansion of today’s communications platforms have led to a radical change in how public discourse is conducted and public opinion formed. In particular, the traditional boundary between personal and public communication has disappeared. A prime example is a 2017 case involving the American actor William Shatner – best known for having played […]

When Machines Judge People

Last week, I spoke about the impact of artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision making on societies and education at the Global Learning Network Convening 2017 organized by America Achieves in Boston. It is a fine line between the promise of better opportunities for all and the peril of increasing social inequality by using such new […]

Nine corrective responses to Algorithmic Decision-Making

Processes of algorithmic decision-making (ADM) now evaluate people in many areas of life. To take advantage of the opportunities ADM offers in the area of participation, one overall goal must be set when ADM processes are planned, designed and implemented: ensuring that participation actually increases. If this is not the case, the use of these […]

Video: What we really know about filter bubbles

Talk, presented in German on May 10th at re:publica in Berlin with Christian Stöcker (dubbed version below) Intermediaries like Facebook judge the relevance of content based on the public’s immediate reaction to a much greater degree than do traditional media.  Use of these intermediaries for forming public opinion is leading to a structural change in public […]

Nine Opportunities and Risks of Algorithmic Decision-Making

1. Normative principles Opportunity: When an ADM process is designed, normative decisions (e.g. about fairness criteria) must be made before the process is used. This offers an opportunity to discuss ethics issues thoroughly and publically at the very start and to document decisions. Risk: ADM processes can contain hidden normative decisions. If discussion is only possible once […]