We officially started!

With a festive kickoff event (program here) in the Agnietenkapel, one of the most beautiful buildings of the University of Amsterdam, we launched our project. A lot of interested guests and partners of the project attended the event. Combining perspectives from law, policy, media studies, computer science and journalism, a panel of experts discussed the state of personalised communication and its implications. We collected some impressions:

Natali Helberger and Claes de Vreese launch the project

Natali Helberger and Claes de Vreese launch the project and tell about how it is like to approach a subject like ‘personalised communication’ from an interdisciplinary perspectives – and what we learned from each other.

Taking a look at the state of personalised communication in journalism, Laurens Verhagen of Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant shared his experiences with customized logins for subscribers and for recommendation systems for visitors who visit the paper’s website via social network sites (and which might be persuaded to stay if they get the right articles recommended).

Laurens Verhagen (Volkskrant) on personalization

Laurens Verhagen (de Volkskrant) explains personalisation on news websites

Our very own project member Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius called for more emFrederik Zuiderveen Borgesiuspirical research and highlighted the need to not forget to talk about privacy concerns:  

And, of course, next to privacy concerns, also other negative effects can occur, especially discremination, as Richard Rogers, professor for New Media and Digital Culture, pointed out:

However, the algorithms used to personalise content should not be only researched in terms of negative outcomes, said Maarten de Rijke, professor of Information Processing and Internet:

In addition, it is important to understand how underlying Artificial Intelligence works and how A/B testing is used to improve personalisation:

Natali Helberger, Maarten de Rijke, Laurens Verhagen, Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, Richard Rogers

Panel members Natali Helberger, Maarten de Rijke, Laurens Verhagen, Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, Richard Rogers

 

A lot of questions from the audience sparked an interesting debate

A lot of questions from the audience sparked an interesting debate.