DKK 100 million for new research and knowledge dissemination project
As part of their anniversary activities in 2021, VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN have decided to grant DKK 100 million to this unique project. Over the next 10 years, the research and knowledge dissemination project will provide valuable know-how on the use of algorithms, and how we can use algorithms sensibly in our society and in our democracy in future. In other words: How we can prevent algorithms from contributing to greater conflict, insecurity and mistrust. And how they can make a positive difference and be of practical value to humans.
Following an open call and a recommendation from an international jury, the research part of the project has been won by a research consortium headed by Professor Sine Nørholm Just from the Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University.
It is not just the project itself that is unusual, but also the make-up of the research consortium. In addition to Sine Nørholm Just, the project will be run together with five researchers from five other Danish universities:
Christina Lioma, professor at the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen,
Torben Elgaard Jensen, professor at the Department of Culture and Learning, Aalborg University,
Leonard Seabrooke, professor at the Department of Organisation, Copenhagen Business School,
Helene Friis Ratner, associate professor at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, and
Alf Rehn, professor at the Department of Technology and Innovation, University of Southern Denmark.
The aim of the project is to bring together computer science, the social sciences and the humanities to develop new solutions for the benefit of citizens and society.
The research group will analyse dilemmas and identify solutions through selected cases within areas such as health, finance, public administration, public opinion and decision-making. The project will present specific ideas for technological innovation and proposals for general guidelines and policies.
The project’s knowledge dissemination and dialogue work will be led by editor-in-chief Lisbeth Knudsen from the Copenhagen-based think-tank and magazine Mandag Morgen. The ambition is to create a large alliance of civic stakeholders who are all involved in public information, digital education, digital learning and knowledge sharing about new technologies at different levels.
ADD project aims to build trust
An ambitious DKK 100 million combined research and knowledge dissemination project will now analyse, produce insights and foster discussion about all this and much more. The project has been named ‘Algorithms, Data and Democracy’ – the ADD project.
Digitalisation has become a byword for growth and prosperity in society, but it has also become a controversial and contributing cause of crises of confidence in society. The pace of technological development is accelerating trends in society towards populism, polarisation, conspiracies, conflicts and increased inequality. This is entwining environmental, social, political and economic crises and fostering general distrust in society’s traditional institutions.
The ADD project will provide insights into and explain these connections at the same time as developing both technological and societal solutions aimed at restoring faith in public institutions.