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Dr. P.M. (Paula) Helm

Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Media & Cultuur

Visiting address
  • Turfdraagsterpad 9
Postal address
  • Postbus 94550
    1090 GN Amsterdam
Contact details
Social media
  • Profile

    I am an Asisstant Professor in the field of Critical Data Studies and AI Ethics. My work is situated at the intersection of STS, Media Studies and Ethics. Apart from teaching and research, I am also serving as a member of the UvA Ethics Commission. The larger goal and mission of my work is to move AI-Ethics from the PR- to the Engineering- and Development-Level. To reach this goal, I am collaborating closely with partners from Computer Science, applying and combining co-creation approaches with empirical ethics, future methodologies, experimental designs and feminist technoscience. I hold a doctorate in philosophy (summa cum laude).

    Before starting my current position, I was a research associate at the MCTS at the Technical University Munich and the International Center for Ethics in Science at Tübingen University, where I was co-leading work-packages in several national and EU-projects concerned with the creation and ethical advancement of AI-Systems in various domains. Before that, I completed my PhD while I was working as a research associate at the University of Frankfurt in an interdisciplinary research project dealing with the “Structural Transformations of Privacy”. I was also a visiting scholar at the Center for Surveillance Studies at Queen’s University (invited by David Lyon) and at New York University, where I worked with the Privacy Research Group (invited by Helen Nissenbaum) and the Institute for Public Knowledge during the exciting period of the emergence of Critical Algorithm and Data Studies.

    In 2022 I was honored to be awarded the recognition of being on the list of 100 Most Brilliant Women in AI-Ethics. I am a working mother of two.

  • Publications

    Peer-reviewed Articles, Chapters and Conference Proceedings

    Co-addictive Human-Machine Configurations. Relating critical design and algorithm studies to medical-psychiatric research on “Problematic Internet Use”, New Media & Society, Online First, 4/2023 [with Tobias Matzner].

    Diversity and Neocolonialism in Big Data Research, under revision [together with Amalia De Götzen, Daniel Gatica-Perez, Luca Chernuzzi, Salvador Ruiz, Shyam Diwakar].

    Towards bridging the digital language divide, under review [together with Gabor Bella, Gertraud Koch, Fausto Giunchiglia].

    Digital Ethnography and Critical Data Studies. A fruitful encounter, in: Buchanan, E./Whiteman, N.: Bloomsbury Handbook for Online Research Ethics, under review [with Martina Klausner, Marion Naeser-Lather].

    Disconnection and Agency. Hopes, Imaginaries, Paradoxes, in: Alexander, Taylor, Jenifer Cearns (Eds.): The Analogue Idyll. Disconnection, Detox and Departure from the Digital World. Bristol University Press.

    Diversity by Design? Balancing the Protection and Inclusion of Users in Online Social Networks, in: Proceedings of the 2022 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society (AIES'22), August 1--3, 2022, Oxford, United Kingdom, [together with Loizos Michael, Laura Schelenz].

    Promoting Ethical Awareness in Communication Analysis: Investigating Potentials and Limits of Visual Analytics, Proceedings of the 2022 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAccT'22), June 20--22, 2022, Seoul, North Korea, [together with Max Fischer, Daniel Keim, et al.].

    Beyond the Prediction Paradigm. Chances and Risks of responsible AI in the fight against Organized Crime, in (Luciano Floridi, Jeff Ward, Cynthia Rudin, eds.): Artificial Intelligence and the Rule of Law. 84 Duke Law and Contemporary Problems. Duke University Press [with Thilo Hagendorff], 2021, 1-17.

    Longing for a Selfless Self and other Ambivalences of Anonymity, in: Anon Collective (ed.): Book of Anonymity. Earth/Milky Way: Punctum Books: 2020, 401-423.

    Anonymer Tanz als dekolonialisierende Praxis, in: Koch, Gertraud/Moser, Johannes/Hansen, Lara (Ed.): Welt, Wissen, Design. Hamburger Journal für Kulturanthropologie. Hamburg University Press: 2020, 168-185 [Anonymous Dance as decolonizing practice].

    Linking Loose Ends. An Interdisciplinary Privacy and Communication Model [with Katharina Bräunlich, Tobias Dienlin, Johannes Eichenhofer], in: New Media & Society, 2020, 22(9): 1-22.

    Normative Paradoxes of Privacy. Literacy and Choice in Platform Societies [with Sandra Seubert], in: Surveillance & Society, 2020, 18(2): 185-198.

    Sobriety versus Abstinence. How 12-Stepper Negotiate Recovery Across Groups, in: Addiction Research & Theory, 2019, 27(1): 29-36.

    Myth #45: Privacy is dead [with Katharina Bräunlich, Tobias Dienlin, Johannes Eichenhofer], in: Busted! The Truth About The 50 Most Common Internet Myths, in: Matthias Kettemann, Stephan Dreyer (ed.). Berlin: Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology/Leibniz Institute for Media Research/Hans-Bredow-Institute, 2019, 202-206 [translated in 8 Languages].

    Reflexionen zu einem social turn in den privacy studies. Sozialwissenschaftliche-rechtliche Perspektiven [with Johannes Eichenhofer], in: Henning, M. et al. (Hg.): Digitalität und Privatheit. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2019, 139-165 [Reflexion on a social turn in privacy studies, in Digitality and Privacy].

    Treating Sensitive Topics Online. A Privacy Dilemma, Ethics & Information Technology, 2018, 20(4): 303-313.

    What can Self-Organized Addiction Therapy Groups teach us about Anonymity? In: Ephemera. Theory & Politics in Organization. 2017, 17(2): 327-350.

    Group privacy in Times of Big Data, in: Digital Culture & Society. 2017, 16(2): 137-152.

    Privatheit und Demokratie [with Sandra Seubert], in: Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen. 2017(2): 120-124, [Privacy and Democracy].

    Transparenz und Anonymität: Potentiale, Irrtümer, Grenzen, in: Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen. 2017(2): 142-152, [Transparency and Anonymity: Potentials, Fallacies, Limits].

    Addiction as Emotional Illness: The Testimonies of Anonymous Recovery Groups (2016) in: Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. 2016, 236(1): 79-91.

    Full-length books

    • Suchtkultur und Gruppentherapie. Vom anonymen Ich zum anonymen Wir (2017), Wiesbaden: Springer VS, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, [Anonymity and Autonomy. An ethnography of addiction therapy].

    Edited volumes and special issues

    • Herausgabe des Studentischen Sonderheftes: Leben im Netz (2020). Kuckuck. Notizen zur Alltagskultur.
    • Die Ratsfrau (2018). Zeitschrift des Gleichstellungsrats. Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Vol. 21.
    • Sonderheft: Privatheit und Demokratie (2017). Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen, Vol. 30/2 [ed. with Sandra Seubert].
    • Räume und Kulturen des Privaten (2016). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften [ed. with Eva Beyvers, Martin Hennig], [Spaces and Cultures of Privacy].

    Media apprearances

    My work has been featured at Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur (Radio), I was interviewed for the ZDF Documentary "Darknet", as well as on print at Welt am Sonntag and FAZ.

  • Publications


    • Helm, P., de Götzen, A., Cernuzzi, L., Hume, A., Diwakar, S., Ruiz Correa, S., & Gatica-Perez, D. (2023). Diversity and neocolonialism in Big Data research: Avoiding extractivism while struggling with paternalism. Big Data and Society, 10(2).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities