The democratic challenges generated by the rise of algorithmic power

In cooperation with Institute for information Law

02feb2018 17.00 - 18.30


The so-called 'digital titans' now act as custodians and curators of the informational contexts that inform our individual and collective beliefs and decisions. Accordingly, we must revise and rearticulate the content and contours of the social contract in ways that will adequately account for their power and influence. With: Karen Yeung

The proliferation of 'fake news' and misinformation by malign actors is high on the agenda of policy-makers around the world. Our hyperconnected world enables us to receive news that has been personalized to suit our algorithmically inferred interests and preferences. At the same time, the democratization of media content generation and distribution means that conventional media institutions with a professional commitment to norms of journalistic integrity can no longer be relied to ensure the veracity and accuracy of media content. What, then, is to be done?

In this event, Karen Yeung will argue that contemporary media content generation and distribution systems are sophisticated and potent forms of pre-emptive 'algorithmic regulation'. Algorithmic news personalization can be used to manipulate individuals' informational contexts, in powerful, pervasive yet subtle ways, at a highly granular level, ultimately threatening to undermine the social foundations of our democratic system. By revising and rearticulating the content and contours of the social contract in ways that will adequately account for their power and influence, we will hopefully be able to maintain and safeguard the health of our democratic commons.

Please note that this event takes place at REC A, 3rd floor Mootcourt room,
Roeterseilandcampus Building A Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam


About the speakers

Professor Karen Yeung is an Interdisciplinary Professorial Fellow in Law, Ethics and Informatics at the University of Birmingham in the School of Law and the School of Computer Science and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Melbourne Law School. Her research expertise lies in the regulation and governance of, and through, emerging technologies, with her more recent and on-going work focusing on the legal, ethical, social and democratic implications of a suite of technologies associated with automation and the 'computational turn', including big data analytics, artificial intelligence (including various forms of machine learning), distributed ledgers (including blockchain) and robotics. Her work has been at the forefront of nurturing 'law, regulation and technology' as a sub-field of legal and interdisciplinary scholarship. She is keen to foster collaboration between academics and policy-makers across various disciplines concerned with examining the social, legal, democratic and ethical implications of technological development, and in seeking to promote informed, reflective technology policy making and implementation.


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Gepubliceerd door  Spui25