ADM+S News and Media Research Symposium: Event Highlights
5 November 2021

Prof Patrik Wikstrom, Affiliate, ADM+S
Prof Jean Burgess, Associate Director, ADM+S
Prof Axel Bruns, CI, ADM+S
Prof Julian Thomas, Director, ADM+S
Matthias Spielkamp, Founder and Director, AlgorithmWatch
Dr Emma Quilty, Research Staff, ADM+S
Dr Zahra Stardust, Research Staff, ADM+S
Dr James Meese, AI, ADM+S
Watch the recording
Duration: 0:04:31


Prof Patrik Wikstrom: 

Hello everyone, and welcome to QUT, and to the ADMS news and media research symposium.

Prof Jean Burgess: 

This is the first major public event we’ve been able to hold as a centre since commencing in late 2020. In that time, we’ve already been able to recruit a stellar group of postdoctoral researchers and higher degree by research students. We’ve launched a whole crop of exciting projects and developed new and existing collaborative links. So, we hope you’ll be able to see some of the fruits of all those efforts over the next few days as well as to pick up on further opportunities to connect with what we’re doing in the Centre, both within this specific area of news and media, but also more generally.

Prof Axel Bruns: 

This was really the first major event of the Centre of Excellence, so we brought together our team of researchers working on matters relating to news and media particularly. Obviously in news and media there’s a lot of use of automated decision-making systems, AI algorithms and so on; both in the production of content as well as in the distribution, and the use of content. Everything from automated news writing tools, through to the platforms they use to distribute content, as well as of course the metrics that are being generated about audience use, reception response to content. So, this is one of those areas where ADM systems are already very widely used, and where different platforms and different institutions along the value chain have a lot of influence on what is being produced, distributed, and received. So, we need to better understand the impact of these systems, we need to better understand what need there might be for further scrutiny, further regulation for the moderation of these systems, and that’s really a lot of the things that we’ve discussed today.

Prof Julian Thomas: 

ADMS as we call it, is really about bringing together researchers from many disciplines. From the humanities, the social sciences, and the technological sciences, to address the social challenges of a whole wave of new decision-making technologies that we are seeing appearing right across many, many areas of social life and the economy.

Matthias Spielkamp: 

The one thing that I like about this discussion and how it’s going is that more people just become aware of the fact that there are algorithms that are used to curate these search results. Because this is far from common knowledge, we are delighted to have a really great panel and a highly, thoroughly international panel, with speakers in Europe and Asia on for this next session on news and automation.

Dr Emma Quilty: 

Thank you everyone for having us, my name is Emma Quilty and i’m coming to you live from sunny Melbourne, and i have the great pleasure of moderating this wonderful panel this morning.

Dr Zahra Stardust: 

We’re starting with provocations because i think so many of us are busy diagnosing problems but actually we wanted to talk today about solutions and ideas and how we could make the internet a better place.

Dr James Meese: 

We really, these questions just get more questions, and it kind of signals the kind of scope of work that we’re going to be doing over the next seven years.

Prof Julian Thomas: 

I think that’s been wonderful, because we’ve seen what sorts of connections can be made and are being made and are already, you know bearing a lot, all sorts of fruit.