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 […]

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 […]

How to determine the potential impact of algorithmic decision-making systems

Algorithms are increasingly making decisions with us, for us and about us – thereby giving rise to new questions about participation. This expert opinion makes a number of initial suggestions for structuring and classifying the participation-related issues stemming from algorithmic decision-making (ADM). In today’s digitized knowledge society, shaping technology is becoming a fundamental form of […]

Almost everything you need to know about the digital public sphere

We try to condense the 90+ pages of our paper “Digitale Öffentlichkeit” (full version in German: DOI 10.11586/2017028) to a short summary below that answers three key questions: Media transformation: How is public discourse changing because of the new digital platforms through which many people now receive socially relevant information? Social consequences: In terms of […]