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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
  • Profile

    I am an Asisstant Professor in the fields of Critical AI Studies and Empirical Ethics. My work is situated at the intersection of STS, Media Studies and Ethics.

    I am the co-leader of the Empirical Ethics Research Group at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Studies and I co-coordinate a new Media Studies MA-track on Cultural Data & AI. I am also running an explorative research project on Digital Transformation in the Amazon Assemblage. Apart from teaching and research, I am serving as a member of the UvA Ethics Committee.

    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 with partners from Computer Science as well as NGOs and Cultural Associations, combining critical co-creation approaches with empirical ethics, while maintaining a reflective STS-lens. I hold a doctorate of philosophy/cultural studies (summa cum laude).

    Before coming to Amsterdam, I was a research associate at the MCTS at Technical University Munich and the International Center for Ethics in Science at Tübingen University, where I was co-leading several national and EU-projects concerned with the creation and ethical advancement of AI-Systems in various domains. 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 fellow at the Institute for Information Systems Design in Kassel, the Center for Surveillance Studies at Queen’s University (invited by David Lyon) and at New York University, where I was a member of  the Privacy Research Group (invited by Helen Nissenbaum).

    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 also a mother of two school children.

  • Publications

    Peer-reviewed Articles, Chapters and Conference Proceedings

    Paula Helm, Gabor Bella, Gertraud Koch, and Fausto Giunchiglia (2024): Language Technology and Diversity. How Language Modelling Bias Causes Epistemic Injustice. Ethics & Information Technology 26, 8,

    Paula Helm, Benjamin Lipp, Roser Pujadas (2024). Generating Reality, Silencing Debate. Synthetic Data as Discursive Device. Big Data & Society. DOI:10.1177/20539517241249447

    Gábor Bella, Paula Helm, Gertraud Koch, and Fausto Giunchiglia. (2024). Tackling Language Modelling Bias to Support Linguistic Diversity. In . ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAccT), New York, NY, USA, 17 pages.

    Gertraud Koch, Gabor Bella, Paula Helm, Fausto Giunchiglia (2024). Layers of Technology in Pluriversal Design. Decolonising AI Language Technology with the LiveLanguage Initiative. Journal for

    Paula Helm, Martina Klausner, Marion Lather (2024). Digital Ethnography and Critical Data Studies. A fruitful encounter, in: Buchanan, E./Whiteman, N.: Bloomsbury Handbook for Online Research, forthcoming.

    Gábor Bella, Paula Helm, Gertraud Koch, and Fausto Giunchiglia (2023). Towards Bridging the Digital Language Divide. arXiv preprint, DOI:10.48550/arXiv.2307.13405

    Paula Helm, Amalia De Götzen, Luca Cernuzzi, Salvador Ruiz Correa, Shyam Diwakar, Daniel Gatica-Perez (2023). Diversity and Neocolonialism in Big Data Research. Big Data & Society, DOI:10.1177/205395172312068

    Paula Helm, Tobias Matzner (2023). Co-addictive human–machine configurations: Relating critical design and algorithm studies to medical-psychiatric research on “problematic Internet use”. New Media & Society,

    Paula Helm, Loizis Michael, Laura Schelenz (2022). 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,

    Max Fischer, Simon Hirsbrunner ... Daniel Kaim, Paula Helm (2022). 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,

    Paula Helm, Thilo Hagendorff (2021). 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, 1-17.

    Paula Helm (2020). 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.

    Paula Helm (2020). 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].

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

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

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

    Paula Helm (2019): 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].

    Paula Helm, Johannes Eichenhofer (2019): Reflexionen zu einem social turn in den privacy studies. Sozialwissenschaftliche-rechtliche Perspektiven, 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].

    Paula Helm (2018): Treating Sensitive Topics Online. A Privacy Dilemma, Ethics & Information Technology, 2018, 20(4): 303-313. --> shortlisted for Surveilance Studies Price

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

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

    Paula Helm (2017): Privatheit und Demokratie [with Sandra Seubert], in: Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen. 17(2): 120-124, [Privacy and Democracy].

    Paula Helm (2017): Transparenz und Anonymität: Potentiale, Irrtümer, Grenzen, in: Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen. 17(2): 142-152, [Transparency and Anonymity: Potentials, Fallacies, Limits].

    Paula Helm (2016): Addiction as Emotional Illness: The Testimonies of Anonymous Recovery Groups, 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 The Guardian, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Reuter Momentum, Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur (Radio), ZDF.

  • 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). [details]
    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