Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (AlgoSoc)

In the evolving algorithmic society, key decisions are not made by humans alone. Datafication, sophisticated algorithms, ever more sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) models mean that Algorithmic Decision Systems (ADS) now complement and in part replace human decision-making.

The OCW-funded Gravitation Program Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (AlgoSoc) is a response to the urgent need for an informed societal perspective on automation and automated decision-making. Grounded in a deep understanding of the systemic changes that ADS entail for core public institutions, for society, and for how public values are realized, AlgoSoc develops solutions for the design of governance frameworks needed to complement technology-driven initiatives in the algorithmic society.

Advancing a societal perspective on ADS and studying the realization of public values in the algorithmic society requires interdisciplinary commitment. AlgoSoc leverages the expertise of some of the world’s highest ranking groups in communication, law, governance, health, humancentric AI, computer and data science, with an extensive web of university based research groups and initiatives. The program is led by interdisciplinary research teams, combining expertise from the social sciences, humanities, and computer science. It also draws on a wide variety of research methods from each of these disciplines, and actively involves a range of societal partners who provide cases, data, and ADS users.