How does automated decision-making effect our daily lives? Where are the systems applied and what happens when something goes wrong? Read our journalistic investigations on the current use of ADM systems and their consequences.

19 February 2024

#austria #publicsector

Austria’s social security invests over €50m in AI – just  for bookkeeping?

The company that manages the technical infrastructure of Austria’s health insurance system passed a massive tender for AI services. The plan is shrouded in secrecy, even though the company’s track record urges caution.

View of the building hosting IT-SV's offices. CC-BY-SA Viennpixelart
An illustration of the protagonists of the story. Top: Camille Lextray, Jerzy Afanasjew. Bottom: Anastasia Dedyukhina, Miriam Al Adib, Soizic Pénicaud.
Léo Verrier

15 February 2024

Fighting in the dark: How Europeans push back against rogue AI

Automated systems go astray, they contribute to child sexual violence, deny people their social benefits, or block organizations' online presence. The affected people often feel helpless when their rights are violated, but some are taking up the fight while current laws fail to protect the victims.

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Foto von Flipboard auf Unsplash

6 February 2024

How not to: We failed at analyzing public discourse on AI with ChatGPT

We wanted to collect data on how newspapers wrote about AI. Swayed by the sirens of OpenAI, we thought that using a Large Language Model was the best way to do such a massive text analysis. Alas, we failed. But LLMs are probably not to blame.

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Foto von Salemi Wenda auf Unsplash

3 January 2024

Work inside the machine: How pre-saves and algorithmic marketing turn musicians into influencers

Streaming platforms allow users to add upcoming tracks to their playlists, in order to listen to them as soon as they are released. While this sounds harmless, it changed the habits of independent musicians, who feel they have to adapt to yet another algorithm.

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Lake Prespa - CC-BY Polina F

19 December 2023

Greece is planning a €40m automated surveillance system at borders with North Macedonia and Albania

The European Commission wants Greece to build an automated wall to prevent some people from leaving the country. Locals are not enthusiastic, but their opinion counts for little.

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"Waiting for Godot" from 1963. University of Michigan.

18 December 2023

The year we waited for action: 2023 in review

Exactly one year ago, I wrote that automated systems might be regulated for good in 2023. This was too optimistic. Not only did European institutions fail to pass the AI Act, even in its watered-down version; the rise of generative models brought us to a new level of danger.

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Photo by NEOM on Unsplash

20 November 2023

Plant-identifying apps: good for amateurs, bad for students

Apps that automatically identify plants have become immensely popular among amateur botanists. While they might help them in their hobby, they also made inroads among students and professionals, with potentially serious effects.

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Foto von Nathalia Segato auf Unsplash

17 November 2023

Platform regulation

Not a solution: Meta’s new AI system to contain discriminatory ads

Meta has deployed a new AI system on Facebook and Instagram to fix its algorithmic bias problem for housing ads in the US. But it’s probably more band-aid than AI fairness solution. Gaps in Meta’s compliance report make it difficult to verify if the system is working as intended, which may preview what’s to come from Big Tech compliance reporting in the EU.

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2 November 2023

Some image generators produce more problematic stereotypes than others, but all fail at diversity

Automated image generators are often accused of spreading harmful stereotypes, but studies usually only look at MidJourney. Other tools make serious efforts to increase diversity in their output, but effective remedies remain elusive.

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"A red droplet on a yellow and blue background" / Adobe Firefly

24 October 2023

Algorithmic blood donations in Ukraine

On paper, solves many of the inefficiencies of blood donorship in Ukraine. It connects people willing to donate with those in need thanks to a matching algorithm. But implementation proves difficult, and the war is not the only reason for it.

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