Stefania Milan, Associate Professor of New Media and Digital Culture, has received NWO funding for her research project 'Making the hidden visible: Co-designing for public values in standards-making and governance', as part of the NWO research programme 'Responsible Innovation. Designing for public values in a digital world'.
Her project is one of five promising research proposals that has been awarded funding – 3.1 million euros, allocated across the five projects – by the NWO within its Responsible Innovation research programme. Two of the other researchers are also UvA researchers: Berenice Boutin and Natalie Helberger, both part of the Amsterdam Law School.
Milan's project straddles computer science, law, and media studies, and looks at standard-making as a sociotechnical practice, analysing technology development and implementation, the related governance arrangements and legal aspects.
In her project, Milan will investigate three cases of national relevance and global breadth:
In so doing, the project contributes to illuminating the 'wiring' of values (or lack thereof) into technical standards, the relation and the balance of power between a variety of public (e.g., states) and private actors (e.g., the industry, consumers), informal lawmaking and multistakeholder governance mechanisms. It will result in the co-design of methods for technology and governance, and of standards which are 'value- and rights-respecting by design'.
The NWO research programme 'Responsible Innovation. Designing for public values in a digital world' revolves around safeguarding public values in the design and use of new digital technology. Freedom, security and the safeguarding of public values are not possible in the 21st century without digital technology like Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, Blockchain and Robotics. A big challenge in digital societies is finding technological and institutional solutions for fundamental value conflicts. This challenge takes centre stage in the research programme 'Responsible Innovation. Designing for public values in a digital world'. The five projects awarded funding contribute to new knowledge about this issue. The programme is a unique collaboration of NWO with the municipality of The Hague and the Ministries of the Interior & Kingdom Relations, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Justice & Security.