Are you looking for a challenging position in a dynamic setting? The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA
) currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the Gravitation program
Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (algosoc), led by principal investigator Prof. dr. Natali Helberger. The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research
ASCA is home to more than 100 researchers and more than 140 PhD candidates and conducts world-leading research in Cultural Analysis. ASCA researchers share a commitment to studying culture in all its forms and expressions within an interdisciplinary framework, and to maintaining a close connection with contemporary cultural and political debates.What are you going to do?
This project examines the new players and evolving power structures that have emerged in the contemporary European news ecosystem, specifically focusing on the Netherlands. Over the past two decades, news organizations have increasingly datafied
their operations and implemented automated decision-making
(ADM). In this process, these organizations have become deeply entangled with digital platforms-from Facebook and Google Search to Amazon Web Services and the Apple App Store,-as well as with a wide variety of data intermediaries and technology providers. Consequently, new relations of dependence have developed, affecting the distribution of power in the news ecosystem. While a lot of research has been done on the metrification and automation of news production, still missing is a comprehensive analysis of these shifts in power and dependence.
This project aims to develop such an analysis by systematically examining the emerging relations of dependence between news organizations, platforms, data intermediaries, and technology providers, as result of the datafication and automation of news production. It asks:
- What infrastructural relations-through application programming interfaces (APIs), software development kits (SDKs), and dedicated services-develop?
- What economicdependencies-through business model alignment, new online monetization strategies, and funding schemes-emerge?
- What new forms of governance-in the form of technological standards, developer terms, service contracts, and partnerships-are introduced in news production?
This project is part of the Gravitation program
Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (algosoc). The Gravitation program is an initiative by the Dutch government to support excellent research in the Netherlands. The funding is reserved for scientific consortia that have the potential to rank among the world's best in their field. Algosoc is a response to the urgent need for an informed societal perspective on automated decision-making. Funded by the ministry for Education, Culture and Science for a period for 10 years, research in the algosoc program will develop a deep understanding of the systemic changes that automated decision-making entails for core public institutions, for society, and for how public values are realized. The research will focus on three sectors: justice, health, and media. The program brings together researchers in law, communication science, computer science, media studies, philosophy, public governance, STS, economy, and social sciences from five Dutch universities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Tilburg, Delft and Rotterdam). Together, the algosoc community will develop solutions for the design of governance frameworks needed to complement technology-driven initiatives in the algorithmic society.Tasks and responsibilities:
- develop, conduct, and publish research on new players, power structures, and automated decision making in the media;
- contribute to the public debate and organise outreach activities of algosoc;
- contribute to the overall program in terms of events, research meetings, activities;
- collaborate with other researchers within the algosoc consortium;
- give guest-lectures in the area of your expertise at BA or MA level at the University of Amsterdam;
- help co-supervising research projects of students working on related topics.