Julian Thomas & Jean Burgess
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society
Society in the Loop: Observability and Explainability in Automated News and Media
This talk outlines the general approach of the ADM+S Centre to issues of automated decision-making in the news and media domain, addressing both the challenges for researchers seeking to understand developments in this field, and the questions of policy, ethics and regulation that arise from it. We use this lens to introduce several research projects underway in the Centre, focussing on observability and explainability in relation to key applications and infrastructures (search engines), business systems (social media advertising), and the social distribution of human capabilities (digital inclusion among vulnerable communities). Finally, we discuss proposals for the further development and organisation of research systems, methods and capabilities in the field.
Julian Thomas is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S). Julian is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. Prior to the commencement of the ADM+S Centre, he was Director of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research (2005-2016), and then Director of RMIT’s Social Change research platform. He also leads the team producing the Australian Digital Inclusion Index since 2015. His work ranges across the contemporary histories of new communications technologies, digital inequality and inclusion, and the internet and communication policy.
Jean Burgess is Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S). Jean is the co-leader of the Data program, and convenor of the QUT node. She is a Professor of Digital Media in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC) and School of Communication, and a current member of the ARC College of Experts. Most recently, she led the establishment and was founding Director of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre from 2015-2020. She was previously Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation (2011-2014), and Director of Research Training for the QUT Creative Industries Faculty. Her research focuses on the social implications of digital media technologies, platforms, and cultures, as well as new and innovative digital methods for studying them.