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RDT features UvA research groups to highlight the diversity and significance of work within the field of Responsible Digital Transformations. By showcasing these groups we aim to illustrate the varied contributions and impacts our theme has across the university. This month, the spotlight is on the AI, Media & Democracy lab, a research institute that focuses on ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI for media and democracy.

The introduction of ChatGPT and other Large Language Models has raised a host of societal questions about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in media. AI, Media and Democracy Lab researches the impact of AI on the democratic function of the media, and its role in promoting an inclusive society as a key technology. The lab is co-founded by the UvA, CWI, and HvA.

In 2022, AIMD started its trajectory as a Dutch Research Council-funded Ethical, Legal, and Societal Aspects (ELSA) Lab. Its overarching goal is to develop and test value-driven, human-centered AI applications and ethical and legal frameworks for the responsible use of AI in the media. The lab aims to stimulate the innovation of AI applications that strengthen the democratic function of media.  The AI, Media and Democracy Lab does so in close collaboration with partners, which include journalists, media organisations, designers, citizens, researchers, and public and societal partners.

As an interdisciplinary lab,  it is made up of researchers from various academic backgrounds, including law, communication science, philosophy, humanities, and computer science. To facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration, research is structured into four main research clusters.


Within the Newsrooms of the Future cluster, the lab explores the impact of AI on news gathering, analysis, and distribution, as well as journalism practices. How can AI support the role of journalism in informing society, promoting critical thinking, and fostering debate? In Making news with AI it is investigated how journalism deals with the imminent impact of what has been called robot or algorithmic journalism. Could the introduction of AI technologies into the newsroom free journalists from repetitive tasks, or will it lead to job cuts? Within the Reshaping the relationship with the audience cluster, the focus is on the interplay between media, artificial intelligence, and the user. It examines how AI could increase news literacy, while exploring how to combat misinformation, disinformation, and polarization. Lastly, the cluster Governing AI in the media surveys the ethical and regulatory frameworks and conditions for the responsible use of AI in the media. It aims to identify common principles and legal conditions needed for responsible and human-centric AI in the media and to make concrete policy recommendations.

Each Tuesday, the AI, Media & Democracy Lab meets, brainstorms and co-works at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the center of Amsterdam. The lab also uses this space to engage with other interdisciplinary initiatives and researchers that work on similar topics. If you want to come by on a TuesdAI, please to contact the Lab manager Sara.

More information about our research, collaborations with (media) partners, and upcoming events can be found on the AIDM website.  The Lab also sends out a monthly newsletter with updates from the Lab for which you can subscribe here.