RMIT and ADM+S Media Studio Ouputs
Author Natalie Campbell and Loren Dela Cruz
Date 12 December 2022
The inaugural RMIT University and ADM+S media studio program has wrapped up for 2022, with students producing eight films highlighting the impacts of automated decision-making (ADM) on society.
Over the course of 12 weeks, students from RMIT’s Bachelor of Communications (Media) collaborated with ADM+S researchers to learn about the Centre’s work through weekly discussions and readings. The students then produced short video explainers on a question or topic relating to one of the Centre’s Focus Areas: Health, Social Services, Transport and Mobilities, and News and Media.
While working on their final outputs, students were encouraged to consider questions such as what are the productive uses of automated decision-making? And what are some of the ethical implications of automated decision-making in health care or news media?
Amelia Wilkinson created a video explainer on ‘Dark Ads and Targeted Ads: What are they and how do they affect us?’ which explored the history of dark advertising. The video featured an interview with ADM+S Associate Investigator Prof Daniel Angus who said “the Government need to institute a change in the Privacy Act, so our personal data is actually treated as personal data, and that we have control of that once again.”
Nick O’Brien created a film that explored Hollywood’s depiction of artificial intelligence (AI), with the objective of correcting misconceptions about ADM technologies, that are portrayed unfavourably in films.
Xuan Li’s film, ‘Targeted Advertising: Harms V Benefits’, explores the history of targeted advertising, and the pros and cons associated with it. Their video investigates common misconceptions about targeted advertising and aims to debunk some of those misunderstandings.
Lachlan Bahr’s video explainer ‘The Truth about TikTok’ investigates the addictive and highly secretive ‘For You’ page algorithm, and how the app uses data about its users to generate tailored content for their profile.
In her film, ‘How Does the Netflix Recommendation System Work?’, Georgia Di Paola focussed on the Centre’s News and Media Focus Area, exploring the function of Netflix’s recommendation system. Georgia questions the algorithmic curation of personalised recommendations and the use of user data in the platform’s operation.
Ashleigh Hinchen’s video ‘Understanding Dark Ads’ investigates the risks and concerns of dark advertising and includes a case study on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign during the national U.S election.
‘The Algorithms Behind the Alt-Right Pipeline’ is a film by Finn Hurley which examines algorithms behind the alt-right pipeline. His work looks at the algorithms and ADM systems that exist within platforms, promoting the controversial content.
The students’ final films are available to watch on Media Factory.
The Centre looks forward to collaborating with RMIT’s media program again in 2023, providing further opportunities for students to broaden their understanding of the impacts of ADM on society.