Program Digital Society Programme Conference 2022.
Monday 28 November, Jaarbeurs Utrecht

Please register at: Aanmelder

The Digital Society programme, with the participation of all Dutch universities, is organizing the 4th edition of the Digital Society Conference. The event will take place on Monday 28 November 2022 at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. The Digital Society Conference is all about connecting citizens, researchers, policy advisors, civil society organisations, industry and entrepreneurs, so we can work together towards a common goal: to create a better digital society which is beneficial for all. The first Dutch Minister of Digitalization, Alexandra van Huffelen, will present her policy on digitalization. Moreover, there will be two internationally recognized keynote speakers, presentations about cutting-edge research projects, panel discussions on safety and security, all this under the direction of host Maaike Schoon. Between the sessions and at the end of the day, there will be ample opportunity for networking.

Theme: Safety & Resilience in a Digital Society

In a world threatened by war, pandemic and climate disasters, the security and resilience of people and the infrastructure that supports them are becoming increasingly important. These infrastructures comprise increasingly intertwined social, political and technical systems. Talking about the security and resilience of digital technologies is also talking about the security and resilience of individuals, families, workplaces, cultural heritage and democracy. During this one-day conference, the national Digital Society programme brings together researchers from diverse academic backgrounds, policy makers and civil society organizations to discuss how people can work together for a safer and more resilient society.


9.00: Walk-in

9.30: Opening by chair of the day Maaike Schoon. Interview with Pieter Duisenberg, president of Universities of the Netherlands (UNL), and coordinators of the programme Professors Sally Wyatt (UM), Geert-Jan Houben (TUD) and Marcel Broersma (RUG).

9.45: Interview with the Minister for Digitalisation, Alexandra van Huffelen, by the chair of the day, Maaike Schoon. The Minister is responsible for the ambitious digitalization policy of the Dutch government, related to economic innovation, inclusion, digital civil rights and the management of the digital infrastructure.

10.15: Keynote: Prof Trine Syvertsen (University of Oslo) – “Resilience and resistance: Disconnecting from the digital attention economy”.
Trine Syvertsen works in the fields of media history, media policy, television and digital media. She is the author of Digital Detox: The Politics of Disconnecting (Emerald 2020), Media Resistance: Dislike, Protest, Abstention (Palgrave Pivot, open access) and co-author of The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in the Digital Era (University of Michigan Press, 2014).

Abstract Keynote Trine Syvertsen: As digitalisation intensifies, many citizens find the constant attention to smartphones and digital media intrusive. While a ‘digital detox’ initially meant to be offline for a longer period, users now find it increasingly difficult to take even a temporary break. This keynote discusses the role of digital connection and disconnection in the lives of individuals and society. Why do users want to disconnect, what methods do they use, and how do digital detox activists try to resist the attention economy? And why is the responsibility for a balanced media diet placed on the users’ shoulders rather than on the agenda of politicians or platforms?

11.00: Coffee

11.30: Thematic Parallel sessions: including current Digital Society Team Science projects and NWO Digital Society program projects (see list below):

12.30: Lunch

13.30: Discussion led by the chair of the day on the theme of Safety.
Plenary panel discussion with social stakeholders, policymakers and members of the House of Representatives.
Participants include: Prof. dr. Bart Jacobs, Professor Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies and Interdisciplinary Hub for Digitalization and Society (NWO-Stevinpremie 2021), Dr. Bernold Nieuwesteeg, director of the Center of the Law and Economics of Cyber Security (CLECS) at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Bert Hubert, entrepreneur & software developer and member Toetsingscommissie Inzet Bevoegdheden.

14.30: Thematic Parallel sessions: including current Digital Society Team Science projects and NWO Digital Society program projects (see list below).

15.30: Coffee

15.45: Discussion led by the chair of the day on the theme of Resilience.
Plenary panel discussion with social stakeholders, policymakers and members of the House of Representatives. Participants include: Prof. dr. José van Dijck, University Professor of Media and Digital Society, Utrecht University (Spinoza Prize 2021), Prof. dr. Jeroen van den Hoven, University Professor and full professor of Ethics and Technology at Delft University of Technology, and Marieke Koekkoek, Lid van de Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal van Nederland voor Volt.

16.30: Keynote Prof. dr. Tina Comes – “Resilience in the digital era”, Professor TU Delft Decision Theory & ICT TU Delft, Professor Decision-Making & Digitalization, University Maastricht, Scientific Director 4TU. Resilience Engineering, Member Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences

Abstract Keynote Tina Comes: Resilience has rapidly risen to the top of the research and policy agenda to foster sustainable development and combat climate change. As the world is confronted with a range of crises and risks – from Covid19 to the war in Ukraine – this trend is expected to continue. With the turn to digitalization, increasingly smart cities and infrastructures, new opportunities to improve resilience via better planning and decision-making arise. However, this increasing interconnectedness increases complexity and thereby creates new pitfalls and challenges. Major challenges remain in (rapidly) identifying and analysing data and from there develop ans share meaningful and actionable information.

Through case studies ranging from Covid19 logistics to urban planning, I will outline key resilience principles and related research traditions, and highlight how digital technologies can be used to improve both the rapid response to disasters and longer-term adaptation. Further, I will discuss the intersection of methods and problems in resilience with the digital societies and will highlight potential avenues for future work.

17.15: Closing and drinks afterwards

Parallel sessions Digital Society Conference 2022

Session 1 (Morning) (11:30 – 12:30)
a. “Responsible Digital Twins for Local Regional Governance” (DiSa project)
Principal investigator: Dr. Mirko Tobias Schaefer (Utrecht Data School, UU)
Presenter: Drs. Sofie Wilde de Ligny (UU)

b. “Co-designing a fair digital asylum procedure” (DiSa project)
Principal investigator: Dr. Koen Leurs (Media and Culture, UU)
Presenters: Kinan Alajak (Department of Media and Culture, UU / Refugee Wellbeing and Integration Initiative RWII), Dr. Rianne Dekker (School of Governance, UU) and Dr. Koen Leurs.
Abstract: Migration management is increasingly digitized and datafied. This project evaluates the Athene Pilot, which was put to a stop in November 2021, as an entry point to explore challenges and opportunities newcomers experience in the digital society. The Athene Pilot, developed by the Dutch border police with stakeholders aimed to automate assessment of forensic copies of digital devices of asylum seekers to improve identification as well as to detect indicators of terrorism and human smuggling. In this presentation we reflect on the intricacies of researching black-boxed government AI and algorithms through the eyes of relevant stakeholders; present emerging findings of the technical, bureaucratic and everyday practice dimensions of the asylum procedure; and discuss knowledge transfer beyond academia.

Session 2 (Morning) (11:30 – 12:30)
a. “Co-Designing an Inclusive Collaborative Mapping Tool with People with Disabilities” (DiSa project)
Principal investigator: Dr. Johannes Flacke (UT)
Presenters: Prof. dr. Karin Pfeffer (UT) and Rob Wagemans (Toegankelijk Zwolle)
Abstract: Our project aims to engage people with disabilities in a co-design process to develop a prototype of an inclusive digital mapping tool for the collaborative design of public spaces. The main goals are to understand how people with disabilities can contribute to the design of inclusive public spaces and to learn about design requirements of people with disabilities for inclusive digital mapping tools. We do this with co-researchers from Toegankelijk Zwolle to create a prototype of an open-source tool that is contextualized for achieving inclusive public spaces in Zwolle. We also develop a set of generalized design requirements of inclusive digital mapping tools, and generate insights into the needs and contributions of people with disabilities to public spaces accessible for all.

b. “Strengthening cyber-resilience by technological citizenship” (NWO project)
Principal investigator: Dr. Lamber Royakkers (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Presenters: Drs. Anne Marte Gardenier
Abstract: The digitization of society comes with opportunities and risks. In our research, we investigate what is needed to strengthen the cyber-resilience of citizens in the digital age, so the opportunities can be seized, and the risks averted. In this presentation, we present what we have learned from our collaboration with researchers and clinical staff affiliated with the FORSEE project in the Catharina hospital in Eindhoven. In this project, a machine learning driven monitoring camera that automatically detects patient deterioration is developed, and we aim to include insights and concerns from doctors, nurses and patients in the development process.

c. “Informed citizenship for all” (NWO project)
Principal investigator: Prof. dr. Marcel Broersma (RUG)
Presenters: Denise Mensonides MA (RUG) and Alex Smit MA (RUG)

Session 3 (Afternoon) (14:30 – 15:30)
a. “The power of words: Challenges in evaluating text-based measurements” (NWO project)
Principal investigators: Dr. Dong Nguyen (UU) and Dr. T. A. van den Broek (VU)
Presenters: Dr. Dong Nguyen (UU) and Anna Wegmann (UU)
Abstract: Many urgent societal challenges, like climate change, require communities to align their interests, but online discussions sometimes escalate. In this project, computer scientists and social scientists collaborate to analyze online conversations and to develop both data- and theory-driven interventions that will help bring communities together online. In this presentation, we reflect on one key challenge we have encountered so far: checking whether the text analysis models actually measure what we want them to measure. We will illustrate this with two case studies: detecting hate speech and measuring linguistic style similarity.

b. “Constructive behavior online? “No idea, but we know what it is when we see it” (NWO project)
Principal investigator: Prof. dr. Emiel Krahmer (UvT)
Presenters: Dr. Cedric Waterschoot and Dr. Ernst van den Hemel
Abstract: In our talk we outline how news outlets struggle to define and promote ‘constructive’ behavior online. We argue that scholars can help moderators in their struggle by applying a mixed methods methodology: combining expertise on AI applications with representative panel data in order to form user profiles of commenters, ethnographic study of the lived reality of moderators and the cultural environments of news outlets.

Session 4 (Afternoon) (14:30 – 15:30)
a. “Including and Supporting Vulnerable Women through Conversation: Innovative AlgorithmvDesign that Fosters Resilience in a Safe Space”
Presenters: Presenters: Dr. Rachelle Bosua (OU and The University of Melbourne) and Dr. Vanessa Dirksen (OU)
Abstract: Over the last decade there has been a significant rise in digital platforms that support many different aspects of remote work and business service delivery. Central to platforms are AI algorithms that mediate digital services to control and manage workers, their tasks and business transactions. This project focuses on social innovation through AI algorithm design embedded in digital platforms for the Common (Social) Good of marginal groups. Drawing on our collective experience related to limitations of Social Media platforms and corresponding algorithms in healthcare management, we reason for innovation in AI algorithm design to broaden platform support services for social impact. The first stage of the research will be a qualitative study that interweaves Design Science Research (DSR) and ethnographic narrative exploration to identify key elements of innovative AI algorithm design that are required for social support. We believe our insights might be valuable for social entrepreneurs who seek to build supportive platforms drawing on a new generation of AI algorithms that foster resilience of vulnerable women.

b. “Causal Human-in-the-loop explainable AI: connecting philosophy and computer science on explainability”
Presenters: Dr. Jie Yang and Dr. Stefan Buijsman (TUD)
Abstract: Explaining the behavior of machine learning models is an important aspect of the responsible use of these models, especially in high-risk contexts. However, clear standards for these explanations are lacking, as well as methods to generate good explanations. Our work uses the extensive work on explanations in the philosophy of science, where definitions and standards have been actively debated the last decades, to make progress in XAI. The philosophical frameworks are linked to human-in-the-loop explainability methods to develop new XAI methods that provide the right kinds of explanations. We will present this combination of perspectives, as well as the prototype XAI tool that resulted from it.

Afternoon session 5 (Afternoon) (14:30 – 15:30)
a. Prof. Claartje Ter Hoeven “Microwork: The human labor necessary to make AI function”. (EUR)

b. Prof. Alessandro Bozzon “”Doing microwork: task quality, communities, and their impact on microwork market dynamics” (TUD)