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<nettime> Invisible Rules of Algorithmic Regimes
Konrad Becker on Wed, 14 Oct 2015 12:27:59 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Invisible Rules of Algorithmic Regimes

A short summary of our conference on the agency of algorithms in
culture and society on September 25th. Further public investigations
coming up, including Matthew Fuller and Graham Harwood on: "Algorithms
are not Angels".


International scientists, experts and artists discussed the regulatory
policy of automatic processes at World-Information Institute


Participants agreed that the use of digital automation processes can
be seen positively as long as the open and transparent access to
digital control systems can be ensured. Nevertheless, the current
development was considered critical. Peter Purgathofer the Institute
for Design & Assessment of Technology: "In order to develop technology
for people one needs to understand their needs, desires and ambitions-
engineers are usually not interested." He points to a future of
technical complexity where "We soon come to a point where we will no
longer understand what software does."

Reinhard Kreissl, director of the Vienna Centre for Social Science
Research Security is skeptical towards the analysis of large amounts
of data for predictive policing and stresses that the manufacturers
of such systems cannot keep their promises "side effects usually
outweigh the intended effects". The knowledge gained is rather
low, but there is a risk of "reinforcing existing stereotypes".
Btihaj Ajana from Kings College London focuses on bioinformatics and
bio-politics of identity, with new forms of digital personalization
and self-quantification healthcare, and argues for a "new concept of
the future beyond technocratic predictions".

Thomas Sturm explores the history of science in terms of rationality,
reason and formal rules and reflects the scientific milieu in the
Cold War: "It was an unprecedented effort during the Cold War, to
find out what people thought, what it means to act and think and
to rationally decide. And that has a lot to do with the spread of
algorithms in science and society. " Explains Olga Goriunova from the
University of Warwick: "The digital artifact is neither an object
nor its representation It is the distance between the two" Francesca
Musiani, researcher at the Institute for Communication Science at the
Paris-Sorbonne summarizes the solution as follows: "Regulation of
algorithms rather than government by algorithms"

Paolo Ruffino, lecturer at the Goldsmiths University London and
member of the artist group IOCOSE focused his research on computer
game studies. He describes algorithms as a form of mimicry, of
assimilation, a formula that leads to the disappearance of the human
"they now take on even the creation, testing and playing of digital
environments". Gerald Raunig, a founding member of the European
Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (eipcp) warned of a
machine colonization of the future and an enforcement algorithmic
processes even against the resistance of the people: "The combination
of calculation and prediction of the future is first determined by
counting the countable, assimilates and normalizes all differences,
while our presence is adapted to these predetermined future."

Active participation of the audience via video stream and social media
contributed to the mutual exchange. "The new constellation changing
methods to measure the world, describe not only the reality but also
contribute more and more to actively create It." said hosts Felix
Stalder and Konrad Becker from World-Information Institute at the end
of the conference. "It is clear that we cannot and also do not want
to live without algorithms and an anticipatory order. However, the
public, the majority of people does not have a clear view of what kind
of world it will create."

Short clip:

and full presentations Video Archive:

World-Information Institute <world-information.net> in cooperation
with the Institute of Design and Assessment Research at the Faculty of
computer science at the Technical University of Vienna. Supported by
SHIFT Vienna and BKA

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