Nicolas Kayser-Bril

Reporter

Photo: Julia Bornkessel, CC BY 4.0

Nicolas is a French-German journalist. He pioneered data-driven journalism in Europe, regularly speaks at international conferences, and taught journalism at several journalism schools in France, Switzerland and Russia. As a self-educated developer, he created interactive, data-driven applications for Le Monde. He built the data journalism team at OWNI and co-founded and managed Journalism++ from 2011 to 2017. Nicolas was one of the main authors of the Datajournalism Handbook.

Articles for AlgoritmWatch

An illustration of the protagonists of the story. Top: Camille Lextray, Jerzy Afanasjew. Bottom: Anastasia Dedyukhina, Miriam Al Adib, Soizic Pénicaud.
Léo Verrier

Story, 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

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

Story, 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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Story, 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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Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Blog, 4 January 2023

AlgorithmWatch welcomes first fellows in algorithmic accountability reporting

After the announcement that we offer a fellowship in algorithmic accountability reporting, we received over 100 applications and were overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of them. After a careful examination, we’re very happy to introduce our first six fellows, an outstanding group of journalists, academics, and a civil society activist.

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Photo by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash

Blog, 27 December 2022

The year automated systems might have been regulated: 2022 in review

Automated systems were surprisingly absent from this year’s major stories. On the regulation front, European institutions stepped up their efforts. How much change Europeans can expect depends on the institutions’ resolve, and the first test of 2023 already began.

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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Story, 9 December 2022

Wolt: Couriers’ feelings don’t always match the transparency report

In August, the Finnish delivery service Wolt published its first “algorithmic transparency report”. We asked three couriers about their experiences. They don't always match the report’s contents.

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A person voting in Washington, D.C. Negative by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964.

Story, 1 December 2022

Algorithmic elections: How automated systems quietly disenfranchise voters

In the United States, automated systems purge voters rolls and verify signatures. They sometimes discard valid votes, especially in historically marginalized communities. Such systems are unlikely to be as widespread in the European Union.

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Jack Sharp - unsplash

Story, 30 November 2022

Mastodon could make the public sphere less toxic, but not for all

The open-source social network gained millions of new users following Twitter’s takeover. While some of its features could improve the quality of public discourse, disadvantaged communities might be excluded.

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Image: Mastodon gGmbH

Story, 2 November 2022

The fediverse is growing, but power imbalances might stay

Alternative social network Mastodon, which has no algorithmic timeline and a decentralized structure, is rapidly gaining steam. But the regulatory framework, which was built for billion-dollar companies, could dampen its growth.

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