Spui25: Who controls the algorithms?

The Personalised Communication team organised an engaging afternoon panel discussion at academic-cultural center Spui25 in Amsterdam: “Who controls the algorithms?.

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The topic of the discussion was algorithms in the online information environment, and if and how we should control them. Sanne Kruikemeier presented some ongoing research about how citizens view the algorithmic society, how concerned citizens are about algorithms, and to what extent citizens are actually able to protect themselves against algorithms. Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius discussed algorithmic pricing in e-commerce, and asked if this is fair, or if it is maybe only fair if rich people pay more, or if just pricing based on illegal discrimination is unfair. Sarah Eskens reviewed some of the arguments that are made against regulating algorithms, and challenged the audience to think about regulatory options by explaining different regulatory strategies and regulatory examples from other (information) law areas. Marleen Elshof from the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science talked about the effect of algorithms on public objectives in media policy, and the questions that policy makers struggle with in this area. Balázs Bodó moderated the event and the discussion that followed with the audience.