Automated decision-making research: A map and a road to impactful media and communication research on ADM

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningfagfællebedømt

In recent years the notion of automated decision-making has experienced an upswing in social science and humanities oriented research, partly in response to consistent calls for more ‘human-centric’ approaches to ADM. Such research promises a more focused, contextual, and nuanced way to approach the latest technological development in automation including artificial intelligence and machine learning. It has manifested not only in a steep rise in publications about ADM, algorithmic governance, AI ethics and so on, but also a number of broader, collective research efforts on international and national scale that are dedicated to exploring the applications and impacts of ADM, for example the ARC center of excellence for automated decision-making in Australia and similar initiatives and networks in the Nordic countries among others led by the authors of this article. Against this backdrop, it seems timely to map ADM as a growing field of inquiry.

This article traces the emergence and evolution of automated decision-making research across fields identifying central concerns and methods while outlining a stable baseline for future research. Based on a systematic mapping of publications and a network analysis of the most central works, we outline the contours of ADM as an area ofresearch and an emerging empirical phenomenon. Furthermore, we suggest trajectories for continued empirical and conceptual work. Against the backdrop of the cross-disciplinary mapping, it becomes possible to qualifythe critically important contributions of the field of media and communication research to the study of automated decision-making and the possible impacts of such an endeavor for democratic processes in datafied societies.
While the study of technological systems in the broad sense has historically been outside the scope of media and communication research, our field has much to offer – both in terms of concepts for illuminating relations between technological systems and the people they implicate (“what media do to people”), and in terms of an empirical sensitivity to the contextual appropriation of said systems (“what people still do with media”) to fit personal and social agendas and pursuits. Consequently, we showcase the merits of media and communication research with reference to ongoing empirical work on automated welfare and datafied living within the field.
Publikationsdato20 okt. 2022
StatusUdgivet - 20 okt. 2022
BegivenhedECREA: 9th European Communication Conference - Aarhus, Danmark
Varighed: 19 okt. 202222 okt. 2022



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