AI, Media & Democracy Lab receives over €2 million for human-centric AI research — CWI Amsterdam

The AI, Media & Democracy Lab, a collaboration between UvA, HvA and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), has been awarded a €2.1 million grant under the NWO call “Human-centered AI for an inclusive society – towards an ecosystem of trust”. The CWI is participating in this research project with three of its research groups: Distributed & Interactive Systems, Human-Centered Data Analytics and Intelligent & Autonomous Systems. Thanks to this grant, researchers from the so-called ELSA labs will work with media companies and cultural institutions to increase knowledge about the development and application of reliable, human-centered AI.In total, NWO is honoring 5 applications in this call; in total, more than 10 million.

The CWI, as the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands, connects fundamental research for the digital society. This lab helps strengthen CWI’s leadership role in human-centered intelligent systems research in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, focusing on relevant societal issues, such as media and democracy, around key human-centric AI enabling technologies.

The AI, Media & Democracy ELSA Lab is one of the honored projects in the Economy, National Governance and Culture & Media category, and studies the impact of AI on the democratic function of the media. In collaboration with journalists, media professionals, designers, citizens, fellow researchers, and public and civil society partners, the Lab develops and tests human-centered AI applications and ethical frameworks and legal frameworks for responsible use of AI. The Lab’s goal is to stimulate innovative AI applications that strengthen the democratic function of the media. It works with partners such as RTL, DPG Media, NPO, Beeld en Geluid, Media Perspectives, NEMO Kennislink, Waag Society, Gemeente Amsterdam, Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences, Commissariaat van de Media, Hogeschool Utrecht, Utrecht University, Cultural AI Lab, Koninklijke Bbibliotheek, BBC and Bayrischer Rundfunk AI Lab.

Ton de Kok, director of the CWI, is delighted with the start of this research project: “The interface created between the UvA, the HvA and the CWI linking multiple disciplines on key themes of our society for the decades to come is of paramount national and international importance. This step will be the starting point for intense and rewarding research with both scientific and societal impact.”

Han la Poutré of CWI’s IAS group: “Disinformation is becoming more and more of a societal problem. It is CWI’s mission to help solve these problems. That is why we will design ICT to deal with it, with our research partners.”

“This grant allows us to explore, with our partners, how AI can play a role in the democratic and independent role of the media, the public sphere and citizens who want to be informed. With the AI, Media & Democracy Lab , we can make our contribution to independent innovation, but also to forming a vision for the future of media in our digital society.” – Teacher. Dr. Natali Helberger, University Professor of Law and Digital Technology at UvA and co-founder of the AI, Media & Democracy Lab

Fundamental rights, human rights and support

ELSA Labs (ELSA: “Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects”) are co-creation environments where interdisciplinary and interdependent research is conducted on various technological and economic challenges that we face as a society. Research funded by the NWO grant must not only contribute to technological innovations that safeguard public values ​​and fundamental rights and respect human rights (and where possible strengthen them), but also gain public support.

About human-centric AI

The NWO and the Dutch AI Coalition have launched, as part of the National Science Agenda (NWA), the program “Artificial Intelligence: Human-centered Artificial Intelligence (AI) for an inclusive society – towards a trusted ecosystem” . The program promotes the development and application of reliable, human-centric AI. In this public-private partnership, government, industry, education and research institutions, and civil society organizations work together to accelerate national AI developments and connect existing initiatives. This NWA research program links AI as a key technology to AI research for an inclusive society. In this process, the national AIREA-NL research agenda and societal and political issues play an important role.

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