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Digital Platform Economies – Value from Data?

April 25 - April 26

A host of studies demonstrate the perils of digital platforms and automated systems: algorithmic bias, algorithmic harm, data privacy, and deep fakes. What is less clear are the myriad ways that digital platforms structure economic/financial relations and transactions in the first place. Understanding processes of data valuation is a crucial aspect of broader inquiries into the promises and perils of digital platforms.

This 2-day conference showcases programmatic research on data valuation. Each session considers the question: How do platforms produce value and monetize those value forms? The sessions are designed to stimulate discussion about value forms and valuation processes through particular lenses: digital assets, Web3 tokenization, digital twins, automated optimization, and generative AI. The discussions will consider the extent to which standard concepts (rent, commodity, property, accumulation) are relevant to these cases and examine continuities and discontinuities across different modes of digital value production.

The event opens with a keynote conversation on Generative AI featuring Julian Thomas (ADM+S) and Jean Burgess (ADM+S), moderated by Paul Dourish (PERN).

This conference inaugurates collaboration between the Platform Economies Research Network and The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society.

SPEAKERS

Mark Andrejevic

Mark Andrejevic (ADM+S)
Mark Andrejevic is Professor of Media Studies in the School of Media, Film, and Journalism at Monash University and a Chief Investigator at the Monash University node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making + Society (ADM+S). His research covers the social, political, and cultural impact of digital media, with a focus on surveillance and digital media. He is the author of four monographs, including, most recently Automated Media, as well as more than 90 academic articles and book chapters.

Kean Birch

Kean Birch (PERN)
Kean Birch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Technoscience & Society at York University. He is interested in technoscientific capitalism and draws on a range of perspectives from science & technology studies, economic geography, and economic sociology to study it. More specifically, his research focuses on how different things (e.g., knowledge, personal data) are turned into assets and how economic rents are then captured from those assets – or processes of assetization and rentiership. He is the co-editor (with Fabian Muniesa) of Assetization: Turning Things into Assets in Technoscientific Capitalism, MIT Press, 2020. His book, Data Enclaves, is forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan.

ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess

Jean Burgess (ADM+S)
Jean Burgess is Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S).
Jean is the co-leader of the Data program, and convenor of the QUT node. She is a Professor of Digital Media in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC) and School of Communication, and a current member of the ARC College of Experts.
Most recently, she led the establishment and was founding Director of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre from 2015-2020. She was previously Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation (2011-2014), and Director of Research Training for the QUT Creative Industries Faculty.

Koray Çaliskan

Koray Çalışkan (PERN)
Koray Çalışkan is an Associate Professor of Strategic Design and Management at Parsons and Associate Editor of the Journal of Cultural Economy. His book Market Threads: How Cotton Farmers and Traders Create a Global Commodity (2010) from Princeton University Press focused on global commodity markets and relations of economization. His last research project on cryptocurrencies and their communities was published as Data Money: Cryptocurrencies and their Communities, Blockchains and Markets (2023) by Columbia University Press. He is currently carrying out research with Donald MacKenzie on digital advertisements.

Franziska Cooiman

Franziska Cooiman (PERN)
Franziska is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. She is interested in understanding financialized capitalism. Her work draws on political economy, social studies of finance, financial economics, and economic sociology. In her dissertation, she dissected venture capital, the backend of the platform economy, tracing the investment chains that enable big and not-yet-big tech companies and points to the structural power that investors hold. Franziska was a visiting scholar at The New School for Social Research in 2022.

Paul Dourish

Paul Dourish (PERN)
Paul Dourish is Chancellor’s Professor and the Steckler Endowed Chair in Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, where he serves as director of the Steckler Center for Responsible, Ethical, and Accessible Technology. He has appointments in Informatics and Anthropology, and is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses primarily on understanding information technology as a site of social and cultural production and combines topics in human-computer interaction, social informatics, and science and technology studies. He is the author of several books, including The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information (MIT Press, 2017).

Na Fu (PERN)

Na Fu (PERN)
Na Fu is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the China Initiative and the Watson Institute at Brown University. She completed her Ph.D. in Politics at the New School for Social Research. Her book project “Networked Hands: Rethinking Flexible Production, Digital Capitalism, and the State in China’s Shoe Industry,” examines the political economy of networked production, from mass production to mass customization, in the Pearl River Delta Region of China. She follows the shoe production network to address both how scales of production are transforming through platform economies and their role in generating new forms of state-market relations, labor practices, and spatial applications.

Jake Goldenfein

Jake Goldenfein (ADM+S/PERN)
Jake Goldenfein is a law and technology scholar at Melbourne Law School and an Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. Prior to his appointment at MLS he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Digital Life initiative at Cornell Tech, Cornell University. Jake studies platform regulation, data governance, digital surveillance, and the governance of automated decision-making. Jake’s first monograph Monitoring Laws was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019, and his current work explores the ways law constructs the data economy, facial recognition, the political economy of the “AI Ethics” discipline, and tools for governing automated decision-making like a ‘human-in-the-loop’ and AI explanations.

Zoe Horn

Zoe Horn (ADM+S)
Zoe Horn is a Canadian-born, Sydney-based writer, researcher and teacher. Her current research focuses on the construction and maintenance of territory, logistical space and AI-driven technology. She is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, where she is pursuing a research project on “The Geopolitics of Automation.” She is also a member of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making + Society {ADM+S). Her past published work addresses architecture, urban informality, and inclusive planning.

Silvia Lindtner

Silvia Lindtner (PERN)
Silvia Lindtner is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan in the School of Information and Associate Director of the Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing (ESC). Her research interests include cultures and politics of technology innovation and entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on the gendered and racialized forms of labor necessary to incubate entrepreneurial life and sustain technological promise. She undertakes multi-sited ethnographic research with a particular focus on China’s shifting position in the global political economy of technology production, economic development, and science and technology policy. She is the author of Prototype Nation: China and the Contested Promise of Innovation, Princeton University Press, 2020.

Fabio Mattioli

Fabio Mattioli (ADM+S/PERN)
Dr Fabio Mattioli is an Affiliate of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S) from the University of Melbourne.
Fabio is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Melbourne. He has written extensively on the politics of financial expansion and innovative technologies in Macedonia and Australia. His book, Dark Finance (Stanford UP, 2020), won the Ed A Hewett Book Prize for outstanding monograph on the political economy of Eastern Europe and the Honorable mention for the William Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology.
Currently, Fabio is leading a study on the political economy of Artificial Intelligence in aviation which looks at the social complexities of introducing digital flight assistants. His other lines of research involve ethnographic approaches to “fake news,” startups, co-design, and AI in winemaking.

James Meese

James Meese (ADM+S/PERN)
Assoc Prof James Meese is an Associate Investigator at the RMIT University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S). He is co-leading a project that will explore how advances in telecommunications infrastructure will inform the future development of automated decision-making systems. He is also contributing to projects across the News and Media focus area.
James holds an early career research fellowship from the Australian Research Council to study the algorithmic distribution of news.
James has also received research funding from the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.
His two books are Authors, Users, Pirates: Subjectivity and Copyright Law (MIT Press) and Death and Digital Media (Routledge, co-authored).

Kelsie Nabben

Kelsie Nabben (ADM+S)
Kelsie Nabben is a qualitative researcher in decentralised technology communities. She is particularly interested in resilience and the human outcomes of digital infrastructure.
Kelsie is a recipient of a PhD scholarship at the RMIT University Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society, and a researcher in the Blockchain Innovation Hub and Digital Ethnography Research Centre. She has advised federal and multilateral government agencies on cybersecurity and “Decentralised Autonomous Organisations”, works with complex system R&D firm BlockScience, and actively contributes to open-source research network Metagov and DAO Research Collective.
Recent publications include commentary on how to reach better digital solutions in crisis, available on The Conversation.
Kelsie is the host of the Blockchain Innovation Hub’s Mint & Burn podcast.

Jeannie Paterson

Jeannie Paterson (ADM+S)
Prof Jeannie Patterson is an Affiliate of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S) from the University of Melbourne.
Professor Jeannie Marie Paterson teaches and researches in the fields of consumer protection law, consumer credit and banking law, and AI and the law. She is the co-director of the Centre for AI and Digital Ethics at the University of Melbourne

Jeannie is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. She is an editor for consumer protection in the Australian Business Law Review, and the Journal for Law, Technology and Humans.

Thao Phan

Thao Phan (ADM+S)
Thao Phan is a feminist science and technology studies (STS) researcher specialising in the study of gender and race in algorithmic culture. She is a Research Fellow in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society and the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University. She has published on the aesthetics of digital voice assistants, big-data-driven techniques of racial classification, and the commercial capture of AI ethics research. She is co-editor of An Anthropogenic Table of Elements (University of Toronto Press) and Economies of Virtue: The Circulation of ‘Ethics’ in AI (Institute of Network Cultures).

Ellie Rennie

Ellie Rennie (ADM+S)
Prof Ellie Rennie is an Associate Investigator at the RMIT University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S).
Professor Ellie Rennie is Principal Research Fellow in RMIT’s Digital Ethnography Research Centre.
She is also a member of the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub.
Ellie’s current research is focused on social and policy questions arising from automation technologies, including blockchain. She has also worked extensively on the topic of digital inclusion, particularly in relation to remote Australia and Indigenous communities.

Michael Richardson

Michael Richardson (ADM+S)
Michael Richardson is a writer, researcher, and teacher living and working on Gadigal and Bidjigal country. He is an Associate Professor in Media and Culture at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, where he co-directs the Media Futures Hub. He is an Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence on Automated Decision-Making + Society. His research examines technology, power, witnessing, trauma, and affect in contexts of war, security, and surveillance. His forthcoming book is Nonhuman Witnessing: War, Climate, and Data After the End of the World (Duke, 2024).

Janet Roitman

Janet Roitman (ADM+S/PERN)
Janet Roitman is Director and co-Founder of the Platform Economies Research Network, Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) in Melbourne, Australia, and co-Director of the Digital Ethnography Research Center at RMIT University. She is also a member of the Council of Advisors for the Platform Cooperativism Consortium, New York. Her research focuses on the anthropology of value and emergent forms of the political. Her current research inquires into digital financial technology payments platforms as potential sources of standardized actionable data and new asset classes, which give insight into the future class and political contours of “high finance” in the Global South.

Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas

Julian Thomas (ADM+S)
Julian Thomas is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S Centre).
Julian is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.
Prior to the commencement of the ADM+S Centre, he was Director of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research (2005-2016), and then Director of RMIT’s Social Change research platform. He also leads the team producing the Australian Digital Inclusion Index since 2015. His work ranges across the contemporary histories of new communications technologies, digital inequality and inclusion, and the internet and communication policy.

Angela Xiao Wu

Angela Xiao Wu (PERN)
Angela Xiao Wu is an Associate Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. She works at the intersection of media/communication and science and technology studies. Interested in the dynamic interactions of politics and the infrastructures of knowledge production, her research intervenes in fields such as critical data studies, platform studies, audience analytics, the political economy of media, and post-socialism studies. She is currently working on a book that charts the first original history of “systems thinking” in Chinese media governance and how it shapes public culture.

Details

Start:
April 25
End:
April 26

Venue

University Center, The New School
63 5th Ave
NYC, United States