Media students explore the impact of automated decision-making on the everyday
Author Kathy Nickels
Date 27 October 2023
In a partnered studio with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, media students from RMIT University have used video methods to explore and illustrate how automated decision-making (ADM) intersects with the everyday.
Students’ projects range from impacts of generative AI on the art sector, the manufacture of driverless cars, Spotify algorithms, period tracking apps and more.
During the semester, students engaged with researchers from ADM+S to learn more about the uses of automated decision-making in society across the areas of health, news and media, mobilities and social services.
Natalie Campbell, Research Communications Officer at the ADM+S said it was fantastic to see the student’s interpretations of the research topics, and technical media skills improving through the studio.
“Listening to the students discuss their projects, it was evident they felt inspired chatting to ADM+S researchers about these topics.
“The final outputs are a great example of research translation, using creative media making skills to communicate complex ideas and findings,” she said.
Students heard from ADM+S researchers Jeni Lee, Emma Quilty, Kath Albury, Ramon Lobato, Aitor Jimenez, Nic Carah, Haiqing Yu as well as ADM+S professional staff Nick Walsh, Natalie Campbell and Leah Hawkins during the studio project. Many students sought interviews with ADM+S experts to enhance the depth of their explainer videos and gain a better understanding about some of the complexities of these topics.
For example, Aya Ishii worked with PhD student Cecily Klim to break down the pros and cons of period tracker apps, in her short film ‘Are Period Tracking Apps Reliable?’ Aya’s film was inspired by the question ‘how is intimate data being collected and stored, and where is is being shared?’ Cecily leant her expertise in emerging technologies within contraceptive advocacy and provision to help Aya explore the governance of sexual technologies, lack of transparency in privacy across digital platforms, and the biases that arise from algorithms.
Prof Mark Sanderson appears in Luka Corrado’s video ‘How does Google Maps determine the fastest route?‘ which investigates how machine learning algorithms persistently evaluate data sources to identify traffic trends and congestion points, ensuring precise and up-to-the-minute guidance for app users.
Students showcased their work in an exhibition titled Decoding AI on Thursday 19 October at RMIT University.