Public Interest Litigation for AI Accountability

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Public Interest Litigation for AI Accountability

Focus Area(s): News and Media, Health, Social Services, Transport and Mobilities
Research Program(s): Institutions 

If you have been harmed by bad automated decision-making, from robots to loan assessments, what can you do to right the wrong? What can the law do to help you? A growing number of public controversies about discriminatory, unpredictable and dangerous automated decision-making has raised questions about the most effective methods of accountability.

Through qualitative interviews with stakeholders (including class action and pro bono lawyers), this project seeks to identify the opportunities, enablers and barriers for public interest litigation to promote accountability and fairness in automated decision-making.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Chief Investigator Nic Suzor

Prof Nicolas Suzor

Lead Investigator

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Zahra Stardust profile picture

Dr Zahra Stardust

Research Fellow

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Henry Fraser

Dr Henry Fraser

Research Fellow

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Political Economy of Sex Tech

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Political Economy of Sex Tech

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program(s): Data, Institutions 

Smart sex technologies and networked apps are being used in sex and relationship education, to enhance sexual wellness and to improve sexual and reproductive health. To do so, they collect and process substantial amounts of intimate data. This project examines the political economy of ‘sex tech’ in order to identify how sexual technologies are being governed at scale, how sexual data is being collected, stored, shared and monetised, and how the material benefits of sex tech may be more equitably distributed.

It will provide empirical grounding to enrich scholarship on ethical data governance, predictive profiling and accountability of smart technologies.

RESEARCHERS

Zahra Stardust profile picture

Dr Zahra Stardust

Lead Investigator

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Automating safety: developing better data models to help foster prosocial platforms

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Automating safety: developing better data models to help foster prosocial platforms

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program: Data

This project identifies how misunderstandings of harm and safety flow into flawed data logics and ineffective automated digital platform responses. To date, platforms have presented the principal unit of harm as individual pieces of content or media objects.

Based on this assumption, platforms’ responses to harm have primarily focused on moderating discrete pieces of content.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Nic Suzor

Prof Nic Suzor

Chief Investigator

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Dr Rosalie Gillett

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S professional staff Abdul Obeid

Abdul Obeid

Data Engineer

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Automated Content Regulation (disinformation and political bias)

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Automated Content Regulation (disinformation and political bias)

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program: Data

This project will evaluate the moderation of social media content, which has become radically more reliant on machine learning classifiers during the Covid-19 pandemic. We examine moderation at this time through two case studies, which aim to: 1. Test allegations of political bias in the removal of tweets, and 2.

Identify coordinated bot activity involved in spreading misinformation and the moderation responses of platforms.Ultimately, this project will provide new knowledge about particular case studies, import insights into trends across cases and time, and new methodological techniques for assessing automated content moderation on social media platforms.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Chief Investigator Nic Suzor

Prof Nic Suzor

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Andrew Kenyon

Prof Andrew Kenyon

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Timothy Graham

Dr Timothy Graham

Associate Investigator

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PARTNERS

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American University

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Ecological Implications of Data Centres

PROJECT SUMMARY

Data centre

Ecological Implications of Data Centres

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program: Institutions 

The project seeks to understand how companies, public agencies and civil society address the environmental conditions and limitations facing the establishment and management of data centres in urban areas.

A central part of data centre management is heat management: servers produce heat, and as they are gathered in large numbers in close areas, temperatures rise raising the risk of fire. To overcome this, data centre operators have various techniques to cool down these facilities and avoid any risks of data loss caused by fires.

Thus, this project will ask: what shapes the environmental impacts of data centres cooling infrastructures?

In order to address this question, we will take as a case study the rapid growth of data centres in Marseille (France), which is particularly interesting as this city is in a warm climate, making the issue of heat management more difficult there than in the north of Europe.

This project is conducted in collaboration with Dr Clément Marquet (Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France).

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Investigator Christine Parker

Prof Christine Parker

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Fiona Haines

Prof Fiona Haines

Associate Investigator

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Loup Cellard

Dr Loup Cellard

Research Fellow

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ADM+S Investigator Karen Yeung

Prof Karen Yeung

Partner Investigator

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PARTNERS

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Université de Technologie de Compiègne

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Mapping the Public Conversation on ADM

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Mapping the Public Conversation on ADM

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program: Data

The project maps the extent, qualities and diversity of conversations about automation and ADM in Australia and globally, using key social media data sources including Twitter and Facebook to collect posts and a wide range of media articles.

We bring together social media analytics with advanced computational text analysis and social network analysis to monitor and analyse the content, themes, platforms and actors involved in the mediated public conversation around ADM in Australia and beyond.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Lead Investigator

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Axel Bruns

Prof Axel Bruns

Chief Investigator

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Daniel Angus

Prof Dan Angus

Associate Investigator

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Dr Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S professional staff Abdul Obeid

Abdul Obeid

Data Engineer

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Hybrid digital methods for detecting and managing problematic automated agents in social media

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Hybrid digital methods for detecting and managing problematic automated agents in social media

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program: Data

Automated agents, known as bots are widely used on the internet to run automated tasks. Whilst some bots are designed to perform beneficial activities, others are created for malicious purposes. The inauthentic coordination of bot activities is problematic and threatens to undermine online environments. We have very little understanding of how bots and high-volume accounts are policed and moderated by users themselves, and what drives people to create bots (both beneficial and malicious).

This project brings together qualitative domain expertise in digital media and platform studies with data science and machine learning to evaluate and improve attempts to detect and deal with problematic automated agents (bots) in social media. It addresses the question of how bots are moderated and perceived by the community, across platforms Twitter and Reddit.

This project provides insights about the dynamics and ethical aspects of large-scale bot activity, through a controversy analysis of the “anus fungi” phenomenon. It also studies the motivations for bot creators and the different kinds of social roles that bots have in the online information ecosystem and will deliver validated methods and software tools to help track disinformation and coordinated inauthentic behaviour.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Investigator Timothy Graham

Dr Timothy Graham

Lead Investigator

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Axel Bruns

Prof Axel Bruns

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Nic Suzor

Prof Nicolas Suzor

Chief Investigator

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Daniel Angus

Prof Dan Angus

Associate Investigator

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Transparent Machines: From Unpacking Bias to Actionable Explainability

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Transparent Machines: From Unpacking Bias to Actionable Explainability

Focus Area(s): News and Media, Health, Social Services, Transport and Mobilities
Research Program: Machines

ADMs, their software, algorithms, and models, are often designed as “black boxes” with little efforts placed on understanding how they work. This lack of understanding does not only impact the final users of ADMs, but also the stakeholders and the developers, who need to be accountable for the systems they are creating. This problem is often exacerbated by the inherent bias coming from the data from which the models are often trained on.

Further, the wide-spread usage of deep learning models has led to increasing number of minimally-interpretable models being used, as opposed to traditional models like decision trees, or even Bayesian and statistical machine learning models.

Explanations of models are also needed to reveal potential biases in the models themselves and assist with their debiasing.

This project aims to unpack the biases in models that may come from the underlying data, or biases in software (e.g. a simulation) that could be designed with a specific purpose and angle from the developers’ point-of-view. This project also aims to investigate techniques to generate actionable explanations, for a range of problems and data types and modality, from large-scale unstructured data, to highly varied sensor data and multimodal data.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Investigator Flora Salim

Prof Flora Salim

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Paul Henman

Prof Paul Henman

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Mark Sanderson

Prof Mark Sanderson

Chief Investigator

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Daniel Angus

Prof Dan Angus

Associate Investigator

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Jeffrey Chan

Dr Jeffrey Chan

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Falk Scholer

Prof Falk Scholer

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Damiano Spina

Dr Damiano Spina

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Maarten de Rijke

Prof Maarten de Rijke

Partner Investigator

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PARTNERS

University of Amsterdam logo

University of Amsterdam

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Quantifying and Measuring Bias and Engagement

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Quantifying and Measuring Bias and Engagement

Focus Area(s): News & Media, Health
Research Program: Machines, Data

Automated decision making systems and machines – including search engines, intelligent assistants, and recommender systems – are designed, evaluated, and optimised by defining frameworks that model the users who are going to interact with them. These models are typically a simplified representation of users (e.g., using the relevance of items delivered to the user as a surrogate for system quality) to operationalise the development process of such systems. A grand open challenge is to make these frameworks more complete, by including new aspects such as fairness, that are as important as the traditional definitions of quality, to inform the design, evaluation and optimisation of such systems.

Recent developments in machine learning and information access communities attempt to define fairness-aware metrics to incorporate into these frameworks. However, there are a number of research questions related to quantifying and measuring bias and engagement that remain unexplored:

  • Is it possible to measure bias by observing users interacting with search engines, recommender systems, or intelligent assistants?
  • How do users perceive fairness, bias and trust? How can these perceptions be measured effectively?
  • To what extent can sensors in wearable devices and interaction logging (e.g., CTR, app swipes, notification dismissal, etc) inform the measurement of bias and engagement?
  • Are the implicit signals captured from sensors and interaction logs correlated with explicit human ratings w.r.t. bias and engagement?

The research aims to address the research questions above by focusing on information access systems that involve automated decision-making components. This is the case for search engines, intelligent assistants, and recommender systems. The methodologies considered to address these questions include lab user studies (e.g., Wizard of Oz experiments with intelligent assistants), and the use of crowdsourcing platforms (e.g., Amazon Mechanical Turk). The data collection processes include: logging human-system interactions; sensor data collected using wearable devices; and questionnaires.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Investigator Damiano Spina

Dr Damiano Spina

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Anthony McCosker

Assoc Prof Anthony McCosker

Chief Investigator

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Sarah Pink

Prof Sarah Pink

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Mark Sanderson

Prof Mark Sanderson

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Investigator Jenny Kennedy

Dr Jenny Kennedy

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Falk Scholer

Prof Falk Scholer

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Flora Salim

Prof Flora Salim

Associate Investigator

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Danula Hettiachchi

Dr Danula Hettiachchi

Research Fellow

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PARTNERS

ABC logo

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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AlgorithmWatch Logo

Algorithm Watch (Germany)

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Bendigo Health logo

Bendigo Hospital

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Google Australia

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RMIT ABC Fact Check Logo

RMIT ABC Fact Check

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Governing ADM Use

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Governing ADM Use

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program: Institutions 

This project examines possibilities for democratic practice, institutions and governance given automated decision-making (ADM). It focuses on challenges to and opportunities for liberal and democratic institutions and governance presented by ADM.

The project aims to bridge analysis of ADM’s deployment across different domains with scholarly literature on republican and positive freedom, the rule of law and liberal democratic rights.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Investigator Christine Parker

Prof Christine Parker

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Megan Richardson

Prof Megan Richardson

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Investigator Jake Goldenfein

Dr Jake Goldenfein

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Fiona Haines

Prof Fiona Haines

Associate Investigator

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Loup Cellard

Dr Loup Cellard

Research Fellow

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ADM+S Investigator Karen Yeung

Prof Karen Yeung

Partner Investigator

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Democratic Practices of Governance Given ADM

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Democratic Practices of Governance Given ADM

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program: Institutions 

This project examines possibilities for democratic practice, institutions and governance given automated decision-making (ADM). It focuses on challenges to and opportunities for liberal and democratic institutions and governance presented by ADM. The project aims to bridge analysis of ADM’s deployment across different domains with scholarly literature on republican and positive freedom, the rule of law and liberal democratic rights.

Overall, the project seeks to develop a theoretically rich analysis of democracy and freedom given ADM and apply the analysis to specific examples of current regulatory and democratic challenge.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Chief Investigator Megan Richardson

Prof Megan Richardson

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Andrew Kenyon

Prof Andrew Kenyon

Lead Investigator

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Mark Andrejevic

Prof Mark Andrejevic

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Christine Parker

Prof Christine Parker

Chief Investigator

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Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Investigator Jake Goldenfein

Dr Jake Goldenfein

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Fiona Haines

Prof Fiona Haines

Associate Investigator

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Andrew Roberts

Prof Andrew Roberts

Associate Investigator

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Anjalee de Silva

Dr Anjalee de Silva

Research Fellow

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Aitor Jiménez

Dr Aitor Jiménez

Research Fellow

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ADM+S Investigator Ivana Jurko

Ivana Jurko

Partner Investigator

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The Coronavirus Impact

PROJECT SUMMARY

COVID19 Stay safe on mobile device

The Coronavirus Impact

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program: Data

Given the role that automated systems are playing in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from symptom tracking to the dissemination of (mis-) information, this project contributes to a range of related initiatives across the Centre that respond to the exigencies of the pandemic. The focus of this project will be on issues related to automated data collection, sorting, and response in pandemic contexts, and beyond.

As sensor systems are built out and repurposed to collect data in response to the pandemic, including workplace monitoring, contact tracing, or social distancing compliance, new data streams are being generated which are likely to endure beyond the pandemic for a range of uses and raises a host of issues.

RESEARCHERS

Mark Andrejevic

Prof Mark Andrejevic

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Megan Richardson

Prof Megan Richardson

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Nic Suzor

Prof Nicolas Suzor

Chief Investigator

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Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Chief Investigator

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Kimberlee Weatherall

Prof Kimberlee Weatherall

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Investigator Jake Goldenfein

Dr Jake Goldenfein

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Andrew Kenyon

Prof Andrew Kenyon

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Ellie Rennie

Prof Ellie Rennie

Associate Investigator

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Andrew Roberts

Prof Andrew Roberts

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Robert Sparrow

Prof Robert Sparrow

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Haiqing Yu

Assoc Prof Haiqing Yu

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Ivana Jurko

Ivana Jurko

Partner Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Frank Pasquale

Prof Frank Pasquale

Partner Investigator

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PARTNERS

Australian Red Cross Logo

Australian Red Cross

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Brooklyn Law School logo

Brooklyn Law School

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Data and Society logo

Data & Society Research Institute (US)

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OVIC Logo

Victorian Information Commissioner

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Data mapping and ADM to advance humanitarian action and preparedness

PROJECT SUMMARY

Volunteer charity workers

Data mapping and ADM to advance humanitarian action and preparedness

Focus Area(s): Social Services, News & Media
Research Program: Data

Humanitarian organisations and other NGOs are undergoing significant digital transformation. In a complicated digital media environment, new analytics capabilities can improve the role and effectiveness of organisations like Australian Red Cross in building community resilience, expanding volunteer networks, and informing rapid response. New practices for ethically sharing and analysing social media activity and public and open datasets can be combined with internal organisational data analysis to produce intelligent responses and predictive models.

This project aims to operationalise new data partnerships and implement data analysis to improve humanitarian sector work. It contributes to developing new techniques for improving data-driven mapping of community strengths, knowledge and resilience. The work will improve advocacy and preparedness and enhance Red Cross’s data analytics capability.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Chief Investigator Anthony McCosker

Assoc Prof Anthony McCosker

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Kath Albury

Prof Kath Albury

Associate Investigator

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Daniel Angus

Prof Dan Angus

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Rowan Wilken

Assoc Prof Rowan Wilken

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Ivana Jurko

Ivana Jurko

Partner Investigator

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Christian Stenta

Christian Stenta

Partner Investigator

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Yong-Bin Kang

Dr Yong-Bin Kang

Research Fellow

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PARTNERS

Australian Red Cross Logo

Australian Red
Cross

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Everyday Data Cultures

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Everyday Data Cultures

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program: Data

This project explores the role of everyday data practices and literacies in automated decision-making. The project develops our new conceptual framework of everyday data cultures, which is based on the cultural studies of everyday life. The project will produce a major monograph (forthcoming with Polity Press in 2022).

To test and further elaborate this framework in real-world settings, we undertake a number of additional empirical case studies using a combination of hybrid digital and qualitative methods. The project provides a framework for integrating everyday community experience into data projects in a variety of sectors.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Anthony McCosker

Assoc Prof Anthony McCosker

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Rowan Wilken

Assoc Prof Rowan Wilken

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Kath Albury

Prof Kath Albury

Associate Investigator

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Mapping ADM Across Sectors

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Mapping ADM Across Sectors

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program(s): All

Focussing on the historical and conceptual approaches to the relationship between data and automated decision-making (ADM) systems, this project situates key issues in historical context and canvasses the range of theoretical approaches brought to bear on describing ADM and assessing the social issues, concerns, and potentials it invokes.

Given the historical focus on data as a locus of concern (with respect to ownership, privacy, accuracy, bias, security, accountability), the data contribution focusses on issue mapping across sectors. The project compliments and draws on the work being done in other research programs and areas to discern common themes with respect to the issues raised by the collection, storage, and use of data for ADM across object domains.

RESEARCHERS

Mark Andrejevic

Prof Mark Andrejevic

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Megan Richardson

Prof Megan Richardson

Chief Investigator

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Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Heather Horst

Prof Heather Horst

Chief Investigator

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Deborah Lupton

Prof Deborah Lupton

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Rowan Wilken

Assoc Prof Rowan Wilken

Associate Investigator

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Paul Henman

Prof Paul Henman

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Mark Sanderson

Prof Mark Sanderson

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Jason Potts

Prof Jason Potts

Chief Investigator

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Mapping the Digital Gap

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Mapping the Digital Gap

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program: People

Improving digital inclusion outcomes and access to services in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is critically important for informed decision making and agency. People living in Australia’s 1100 remote Indigenous communities are likely to be among the most digitally excluded Australians. The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) found that people in remote communities often have extremely limited access to digital infrastructure and services and encounter very high costs for internet access, especially in relation to their income.

This project aims to generate the most detailed account to date of the distribution of digital inclusion and the uses of digital services including news and media across Indigenous communities.

It will track changes in measures of digital inclusion for these communities over time, and inform the development and evaluation of appropriate local strategies for improving digital inclusion capabilities and services enabling informed decision making in remote Indigenous communities.

The project involves working with 8-10 remote First Nations communities to develop local digital inclusion plans and measuring the change in levels of digital inclusion and media use within the community over a four-year period (2021-2024).  Potential research sites will be identified based on criteria to ensure a diverse national sample, and selected communities will be offered the option of being involved in the project.

The research team will work closely with local and regional agencies on all community-based research and the analysis of results to ensure the project adheres to local policies and cultural protocols, community trust and engagement, and to ensure the research addresses local needs and provides benefit to the community.

RESEARCHERS

Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Chief Investigator

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Lauren Ganley

Lauren Ganley

Head of First Nations Strategy & Engagement, Telstra

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Daniel Featherstone

Dr Daniel Featherstone

Senior Research Fellow

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Indigo Holcombe-James

Dr Indigo Holcombe-James

Research Fellow

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Jenny Kennedy

Dr Jenny Kennedy

Associate Investigator

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Lyndon Ormond-Parker

Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker

Principal Research Fellow

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PARTNERS

Telstra

Telstra

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Diverse Experiences of ADM: Design, Curation and Use

PROJECT SUMMARY

Research Materials

Diverse Experiences of ADM: Design, Curation and Use

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program: People

This project examines the ways in which automated decision-making (ADM) is being integrated into the lives of diverse and non-dominant communities across Australia.

Attending to issues of equity and power, this project explores how different communities shape existing, emerging and future practices of ADM in an effort to understand and develop equitable futures.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Chief Investigator Heather Horst

Prof Heather Horst

Lead Investigator

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Deborah Lupton

Prof Deborah Lupton

Lead Investigator

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Sarah Pink

Prof Sarah Pink

Lead Investigator

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Cecily Klim

 

Rakesh Kumar

Rakesh Kumar

PhD Student

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Prof Jackie Leach Scully

Chief Investigator

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Jeni Lee

Jeni Lee

Research Fellow

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Jiyoon Lee

Jiyoon Lee

PhD Student

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Robert Lundberg

PhD Student

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Iris Maher

Thao Phan

Dr Thao Phan

Research Fellow

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Emma Quilty

Dr Emma Quilty

Research Fellow

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Yolande Strengers

Prof Yolande Strengers

Associate Investigator

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Georgia Van Toorn

Dr Georgia van Toorn

Research Fellow

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Ash Watson

Dr Ash Watson

Research Fellow

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Vaughan Wozniak-O'Connor

Dr Vaughan Wozniak-O’Connor

Research Fellow

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Dr Daniel Featherstone

Dr Daniel Featherstone

Research Fellow

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Indigo Holcombe-James Headshot

Dr Indigo Holcombe-James

Research Fellow

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ADM+S Associate Investigator Jenny Kennedy

Dr Jenny Kennedy

Associate Investigator

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PARTNERS

Consumer Health Forum of Australia Logo

Consumers Health Forum of Australia

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Data and Society logo

Data & Society Research Institute (US)

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Health Consumers NSW

Health Consumers NSW

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Data Ethics, Rights, and Markets

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Data Ethics, Rights, and Markets

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program: Data

The goal of this project is to contribute to the theoretical “backbone” of the ADM+S Centre and help synthesise the findings from projects in different focus areas and research programs through the creation of an historically informed theoretical overview to the social issues associated with the rise of automated decision-making (ADM).

The project supplements the descriptive mapping project (typologies and taxonomies of ADM) with an issue mapping project that connects directly with the core social concerns of the Centre: fairness, ethics, inclusion, and effectiveness.

RESEARCHERS

Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Chief Investigator

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Axel Bruns, Chief Investigator with the ADM+S Centre

Prof Axel Bruns

Chief Investigator

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Paul Henman

Prof Paul Henman

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Dan Hunter

Prof Dan Hunter

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Andrew Kenyon

Prof Andrew Kenyon

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Anthony McCosker

Assoc Prof Anthony McCosker

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Christine Parker

Prof Christine Parker

Chief Investigator

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Sarah Pink

Prof Sarah Pink

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Megan Richardson

Prof Megan Richardson

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Mark Sanderson

Prof Mark Sanderson

Chief Investigator

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Kimberlee Weatherall

Prof Kimberlee Weatherall

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Investigator Jake Goldenfein

Dr Jake Goldenfein

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Ivana Jurko

Ivana Jurko

Partner Investigator

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PARTNERS

Australian Red Cross Logo

Australian Red Cross

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Data and Society logo

Data & Society Research Institute (US)

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OVIC Logo

Victorian Information Commissioner

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Dark Ads Transparency Project

PROJECT SUMMARY

Woman looking at device in dark room

Dark Ads Transparency Project

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program: Data

The use of custom targeted advertising, known as ‘dark ads’ poses a host of potential social harms, from the re-introduction of historical forms of discriminating (targeting job or housing ads by race, for example, or job ads by race or gender, and so on); to the propagation of racist or gender stereotyping, to the spread of false and harmful information. The advertising environment is fundamentally transformed by the rise of dark ads, which continue the trend away from mass advertising, which was available to large audiences and thus subject to public scrutiny.

Our researchers have partnered with AlgorithmWatch to develop novel approaches for addressing the challenges posed by ‘dark ads’. This project aims to develop strategies for addressing the potential harms posed by ‘dark ads’ and provide accountability and transparency mechanisms for targeted advertising. This project will deliver modelling of real-world strategies for providing visibility into how targeting takes place and what its results are and develop recommendations for regulatory response to online ad targeting.

RESEARCHERS

Mark Andrejevic

Prof Mark Andrejevic

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Chief Investigator

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Daniel Angus

Prof Daniel Angus

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Timothy Graham

Dr Timothy Graham

Associate Investigator

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PARTNERS

ABC logo

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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Civic Automated Decision-Making

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Civic Automated Decision-Making

Focus Area(s): All
Research Program: Data

This project supplements work on ethical automated decision-making (ADM) with a focus on civic commitments and concerns. It adds a consideration of politics and power to ethical approaches in the area of ADM and civic life.

Such an approach adds an additional layer to the question of whether ADM processes are ethical by considering how they promote civic life and democracy.

RESEARCHERS

Mark Andrejevic

Prof Mark Andrejevic

Lead Investigator

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Axel Bruns, Chief Investigator with the ADM+S Centre

Prof Axel Bruns

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Megan Richardson

Prof Megan Richardson

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Nic Suzor

Prof Nicolas Suzor

Chief Investigator

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Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Chief Investigator

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Kimberlee Weatherall

Prof Kimberlee Weatherall

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Investigator Jake Goldenfein

Dr Jake Goldenfein

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Andrew Kenyon

Prof Andrew Kenyon

Associate Investigator

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Andrew Roberts

Prof Andrew Roberts

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Robert Sparrow

Prof Robert Sparrow

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Frank Pasquale

Prof Frank Pasquale

Partner Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Karen Yeung

Prof Karen Yeung

Partner Investigator

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PARTNERS

Brooklyn Law School logo

Brooklyn Law School

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Data and Society logo

Data & Society Research Institute (US)

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OVIC Logo

Victorian Information Commissioner

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Considerate and Accurate Multi-party Recommender Systems for Constrained Resources

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Considerate and Accurate Multi-party Recommender Systems for Constrained Resources

Focus Area(s): News and Media, Health, Social Services, Transport and Mobilities
Research Program: Machines

This project will create a next generation recommender system that enables equitable allocation of constrained resources. The project will produce novel hybrid socio-technical methods and resources to create a Considerate and Accurate REcommender System (CARES), evaluated with social science and behavioural economics lenses.

CARES will transform the sharing economy by delivering systems and methods that improve user and non-user experiences, business efficiency, and corporate social responsibility.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Chief Investigator Mark Sanderson

Prof Mark Sanderson

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Christopher Leckie

Prof Christopher Leckie

Chief Investigator

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Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Chief Investigator

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Jeffrey Chan

Dr Jeffrey Chan

Associate Investigator

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Danula Hettiachchi

Dr Danula Hettiachchi

Research Fellow

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Indigo Holcombe-James Headshot

Dr Indigo Holcombe-James

Research Fellow

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ADM+S Investigator Flora Salim

Prof Flora Salim

Associate Investigator

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PARTNERS

University of Amsterdam logo

University of Amsterdam

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Infrastructures, ADM and sovereign capability

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Infrastructures, ADM and sovereign capability

Focus Area(s): News and Media
Research Program: Data

This project examines the relationship between telecommunications infrastructure and automated decision-making (ADM) as new infrastructures, such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6, support the intensification of ADM. A key focus is on the collection and distribution of data that shapes the deployment and use of ADM in Australia and China.

It also investigates how China came to be one of the dominant suppliers of critical ADM infrastructure and the strategic implications of this on supply chains and sovereign capabilities.

RESEARCHERS

James Meese profile picture

Dr James Meese

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Rowan Wilken

Assoc Prof Rowan Wilken

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Haiqing Yu

Assoc Prof Haiqing Yu

Associate Investigator

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The Automated Newsroom in Australia and beyond: Problems and challenges in the use of automated decision-making systems in journalistic practice

PROJECT SUMMARY

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The Automated Newsroom in Australia and beyond: Problems and challenges in the use of automated decision-making systems in journalistic practice

Focus Area(s): News and Media
Research Program: People

Automated decision-making (ADM) and related systems are now widely implemented in global newsrooms. These systems have substantial impacts on the nature and quality of journalistic output, on the shape of the newsroom workforce, and on audiences’ engagement with news content.

This project investigates current developments in journalistic practice by conducting in-depth interviews with news workers, including journalists, social media editors, developers, programmers, computer scientists, graphic designers and social media marketing staff.

These interviews will focus on four areas of the journalistic workflow:

  • Systems to generate automated news reporting,
  • The use of news metrics from outlets and social media platforms in the editorial tasking of journalists and in the personalisation/ recommendation of content to audiences,
  • The use of data visualisation in journalistic storytelling and use of algorithmic methods, designs, and audits in investigative journalism, and
  • ADM practices to contend with the mis-and disinformation actors and environments.

This research will provide insights into the technological infrastructures and practices in the implementation of automated decision-making systems in news and media industries in Australia, and potentially with a further extension of the research approach to other media systems in the Global South.

RESEARCHERS

Axel Bruns, Chief Investigator with the ADM+S Centre

Prof Axel Bruns

Lead Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Heather Horst

Prof Heather Horst

Chief Investigator

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Dr Silvia Ximena Montana-Nino

Chief Investigator

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Decentering ADM: A Review of Automated Decision-Making in the Global South

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Decentering ADM: A Review of Automated Decision-Making in the Global South

Focus Area(s): News and Media, Social Services, Health, Transport and Mobilities
Research Program: People

This project is a review of the current state of ADM implementation, practices and visions in different regions in the Global South. It includes an analysis of academic and grey literature, online resources and interviews with key stakeholders in four underrepresented regions (Latin America, Anglophone Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Island Archipelagos).

Our focus upon decentering ADM works to challenge dominant narratives of the discourse, practice and adoption of ADM across the world.

RESEARCHERS

ADM+S Chief Investigator Heather Horst

Prof Heather Horst

Lead Investigator

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Edgar Gómez Cruz

Dr Edgar Gómez Cruz

Associate Investigator

Adam Sargent

Dr Adam Sargent

Associate Investigator

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Jolynna Sinanan

Dr Jolynna Sinanan

Associate Investigator

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Assessing the Personalisation of Search Results from Major Recommendation Engines

PROJECT SUMMARY

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Assessing the Personalisation of Search Results from Major Recommendation Engines

Focus Area(s): News and Media
Research Program: Data

There is a lot of speculation about the impact that search engines have on the information we encounter. Search engine personalisation may be influencing individuals’ search results, and thereby shape what they know of the world. This may affect their personal decisions, and our collective decisions as a society – from how we spend our money or who we vote for to our attitudes on critical issues such as the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

This research aims to assess the extent to which search results are personalised, by various leading search engines and their algorithms, based on the profiles established by those search engines for their different users. It compiles and analyses the search recommendations encountered by a wide range of genuine users across prominent digital media platforms, for a variety of generic and specific topics, and over a period of time.

This research advances earlier experimental work by our partner organisation AlgorithmWatch, using ‘data donation’ methods via browser plugins and other tools, to involve the public in the research. This research evaluates the potential social impacts of search personalisation, including its potential for creating ‘filter bubbles’, promoting misinformation and disinformation or increasing political polarisation. Findings from this project will inform policymakers, educators, and the platforms themselves to mitigate any negative effects of information shaping online.

PARTICIPATE

Become a citizen scientist and join the Australian Search Experience project

When you use a search engine, do you see the same results as your colleagues, friends, or family do? If not, why is that? Are search results personalised especially for you? If so, what are the criteria? Which topics do search engines suggest to you and other users?

We want to find out. With your help.

To participate in this project visit The Australian Search Experience webpage

RESEARCHERS

Axel Bruns, Chief Investigator with the ADM+S Centre

Prof Axel Bruns

Lead Investigator

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Mark Andrejevic

Prof Mark Andrejevic

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Prof Jean Burgess

Chief Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Nic Suzor

Prof Nicolas Suzor

Chief Investigator

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Kimberlee Weatherall

Prof Kimberlee Weatherall

Chief Investigator

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Daniel Angus

Prof Dan Angus

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Timothy Graham

Dr Timothy Graham

Associate Investigator

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Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez profile picture

Dr Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator James Meese

Dr James Meese

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Falk Scholer

Prof Falk Scholer

Associate Investigator

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ADM+S Investigator Damiano Spina

Dr Damiano Spina

Associate Investigator

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PARTNERS

AlgorithmWatch logo

AlgorithmWatch
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