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Tilburg University partner in Gravitation research program 'The Algorithmic Society’

Published: 02nd May 2022 Last updated: 02nd May 2022

Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf of Education, Culture and Science has awarded 21.3 million euros under NWO's Gravitation program to the project 'The Algorithmic Society' of a consortium of five universities led by the University of Amsterdam. Tilburg Law School is a co-applicant and bears responsibility for one of the three areas of research in the project, the judiciary.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies in the world around us is constantly increasing, and this has numerous legal, ethical, social and democratic implications. In the project 'The Algorithmic Society' (ALGOSOC), top researchers from five universities are investigating how we can continue to safeguard public values and human rights with the development of (semi-) automated processes, including artificial intelligence. Three sectors of society are the subject of research: healthcare, media and justice. In addition to the University of Amsterdam and Tilburg University, the University of Utrecht, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Delft University of Technology are part of the consortium.

Professor of Law and Informatization Corien Prins is the applicant in the consortium from Tilburg University. Together with fellow professor at TILT, Linnet Taylor (International Data Governance), she will, among other things, lead the sub-program on artificial intelligence and justice. Professors Esther Keymolen (Digital Technology Regulation), Johan Wolswinkel (Administrative Law, Market and Data) and Maurits Kaptein (Data Science & Health) are also involved from Tilburg University.

Corien Prins: "A world based on algorithmic decision-making requires the judiciary to embrace its use, including its own application, on the one hand, and on the other to guarantee that this technology is used fairly throughout society. Therefore, as Tilburg researchers, we are going to investigate, among other things, the role and responsibility of the judiciary from two perspectives: as users of algorithmic decision systems and as adjudicators of algorithm-based decisions by other government agencies, such as the police, the tax authorities and other public bodies. As Tilburg University we also contribute to research within the domains of healthcare and media."

Corien Prins

"A responsible social embedding of artificial intelligence cannot be achieved without innovative interdisciplinary research. I find it inspiring to work with my Amsterdam colleagues Helberger and De Vreese and many others in the coming years to develop scientific insights that will not only advance our digital society but also make it more equitable."

Wim van de Donk, rector of Tilburg University: "Responsible and equitable use of AI and algorithms in our society is essential, especially now that this new 'systems technology' is rapidly developing as a new foundation for our living together. These technological innovations also require thorough and interdisciplinary research from disciplines such as law, economics and the humanities and social sciences. The Gravitation program, now funded by NWO, fits seamlessly into the strategic priorities and profiling of Tilburg University. I am therefore very pleased and proud that Corien Prins and her colleagues will be able to make an important contribution to ALGOSOC."

About Gravitation

The Gravitation program enables researchers to conduct top-level university research and multidisciplinary collaboration for ten years. One of the pillars of the program is collaboration across disciplines and universities. The scientists set up excellent scientific research programs together, in consortia. The goal of the program is to promote top research at an international level.  The program is implemented by NWO on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

More than 142 million euros

In total, seven consortia with top scientists from various Dutch universities are receiving funding for their research projects in this round of the Gravitation program. In total more than 142 million euros will be awarded. Read the news release of the Dutch Ministry of Education about all 7 awards here (in Dutch).

Note to editors

For more information about Tilburg University's contribution to ALGOSOC, please contact press officer Corine Schouten, tel. 013 - 466 2993, e-mail c.h.schouten@tilburgunversity.edu.