AI's impact on society, media & democracy

Read more about the focus of the Research Semester Programme "AI's impact on Society, Media & Democracy".

The emergence of powerful AI is rapidly pervading our digital society and has the potential to profoundly transform people's public and private lives. There is therefore an urgent need to explore how we can
ensure that these developments are both enriching, beneficial and fair for society as a whole.

For instance, the introduction of AI in media is changing the relationship between content providers and influencers on the one hand,  and their public on the other, and as such, can have a profound effect on democratic participation.  

  • How can the transparency and explainability of AI-driven applications be improved so that they will  earn trust and acceptance from the public at large?
  • How can machine learning be used to automatically gauge the quality and objectivity of information and information sources?
  • How can AI in the media be harnessed to promote public values, such as showing users relevant information and diverse perspective, optimizing for joy of reading but also transparency and explainability. What is needed to elucidate the dynamics of disinformation diffusion and the emergence of polarisation in social networks?  
  • How can we enrich user experiences by using data science to better understand users' engagement and their experience of new technologies (chatbots, VR, robot journalism) and thereby gain insights that allow us to develop the next generation of intelligent and empathic systems?

Tackling the questions above requires the concerted insights and efforts from experts in various scientific disciplines such as mathematics and computer science, but also in media technologies and emerging legal frameworks.

Through this semester program at CWI we intend to build on the existing collaboration within the ELSA AIMD lab to widen and deepen our  research activities in order to address the urgent questions we are facing today.


Workshop (23-24 April 2024)

On 23 and 24 April there will be a workshop titled 'Large Language Models for media and democracy: wrecking or saving society?'. This workshop addresses technical and societal issues that emerged around foundational models and discusses recent developments to address them, with a particular emphasis on the Dutch ecosystem.

Register here for the workshop on 23-24 April

Main seminar (27-28 May 2024)

This main 2-day event will feature a number of renowned speakers that will highlight how AI is already impacting on the media and democratic processes, what can be expected in the near future, and what measures need to be taken to make sure society at large benefits from these rapid developments.

Register here for the main seminar on 27-28 May

Speakers 27-28 May:

  • Henriette Cramer (AI Trust & Safety leader)
  • Mathias Felipe De Lima Santos (University of Amsterdam)
  • Natali Helberger (University of Amsterdam)
  • Takayuki Ito (Kyoto University)
  • Mark Klein (MIT)
  • Linda Kool (Rathenau Instituut)
  • Cynthia Liem (Delft University of Technology)
  • Bennie Mols (Author/Speaker)
  • Hadfi Rafik (Kyoto University)
  • S. Shyam Sundar (Penn State University)
  • Nava Tintarev (Maastricht University)
  • Pascal Wiggers (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences)