The AI, Media & Democracy Lab has received a grant of €2.1M as part of the Dutch Research Council’s (NWO) programme called ‘Human-centred AI for an inclusive society – towards an ecosystem of trust’. The grant will allow researchers at the AI, Media & Democracy Lab to increase awareness about the development and application of reliable, human-oriented AI.
Artificial Intelligence is set to impact every facet of our lives and the Dutch government is at the forefront of developing human-centred AI. As part of this effort, the Dutch AI Coalition (NLAIC) had released a position paper highlighting the impact of AI in culture and media, and outlining a future of opportunity. The grant from NWO is also aimed at expanding the knowledge about human-centred AI efforts.
A grant to investigate impact of AI on media
The human-centred AI for an inclusive society programme will allow researchers at AI, Media & Democracy ELSA (Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects) Lab to work together with media companies and other cultural institutions. Their work will focus on investigating the impact of AI on the democratic function of media.
The Lab will also work with journalists, media professionals, designers, citizens, fellow researchers, and public and societal partners to develop and test value-driven, human-centric AI applications. One of the significant work of the ELSA Lab will be to build ethical and legal frameworks for responsible use of AI.
As part of this project, the lab will collaborate with partners such as RTL, DPG Media, NPO, Sound and Vision, Media Perspectives, NEMO Kennislink, Waag Society, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Dutch Media Authority, Hogeschool Utrecht, Utrecht University, Cultural AI Lab, the Royal Library of the Netherlands, the BBC, and the Bayerischer Rundfunk AI Lab.
The advantages of AI far exceed human imagination but if an AI application goes wrong, the impact on society could be catastrophic. In order to eliminate such a possibility, governments around the world are looking at building a framework that will guide programmers to develop AI applications with strict ethical guidelines.
In the Netherlands, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Dutch AI Coalition (NLAIC) have taken the lead on building the framework for different industries with the help of researchers and AI practitioners. The NWO plans to award five projects in total and grant almost €11M towards the development of human-oriented AI.
AI, Media & Democracy Lab: what you need to know
The AI, Media & Democracy Lab is an Ethical, Legal and Societal laboratory focusing on the implications of AI for media and democracy. The lab is a collaboration between the UvA (project leader), the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI).
The lab offers ethical AI researchers the opportunity to do multidisciplinary research that can help society understand the effects of AI in the public sphere, civic engagement, or inclusiveness. The researchers also get room to imagine the transformations that AI and digital technologies will bring to media and democracy.
The researchers at the ELSA Lab are working on understanding the responsible use of AI in media. They study the legal, socio-technical and economic conditions needed to make it function. The lab also helps the Dutch and other local media businesses with “creating customer experiences in (cross) media design” and supports media organisations with gaining a competitive advantage against big tech platforms.
“This grant will enable us to explore alongside our partners how AI can play a role in the democratic and independent role of the media, the public sphere and for citizens seeking information. The AI, Media & Democracy Lab can contribute to independent innovation, but also help in forming a vision for the future of media in our digital society,” says Prof. Natali Helberger, university professor of Law and Digital Technology at the UvA and co-founder of the AI, Media & Democracy Lab.
Human-centred AI: what you need to know
The Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Dutch AI Coalition have launched the programme ‘Artificial Intelligence: Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence for an inclusive society – towards an ecosystem of trust’ as part of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA).
The programme promotes the development, deployment and application of reliable, human-centred AI. The programme is a collaborative work involving public-private partnerships, government, industry, education and research institutions and civil society organisations, that aims to accelerate national AI developments and connect existing initiatives.