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The NWO research programme 'Responsible Innovation. Designing for public values in a digital world' has awarded funding to two Amsterdam Law School research proposals. Berenice Boutin received 615 thousand euros for the project 'Building trust for the deployment of military AI'. Natali Helberger and team will receive 750 thousand euros for 'Big Brother wants your vote: how critical micro-targeting influences Dutch democracy'.

Freedom, security and the safeguarding of public values are not possible without digital technology like Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, Blockchain and Robotics. A big challenge in digital societies is finding technological and institutional solutions for fundamental value conflicts. This challenge takes centre stage in the research programme 'Responsible Innovation. Designing for public values in a digital world'. 

The programme is a collaboration of NWO with the municipality of The Hague and the Ministries of the Interior & Kingdom Relations, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Justice & Security.

Agency and Compliance by Design in Military AI Technologie

Berenice Boutin (T.M.C. Asser Institute) received a  grant of 615 thousand euros for the research project 'Agency and Compliance by Design in Military AI Technologies'. 

This research project sets out to ensure that military AI technologies support but never replace critical judgement and decision-making by human soldiers. The research team will analyse why human control over military technologies must be guaranteed, where it is most critical to maintain the role of human agents (in particular to ensure legal compliance and accountability), and how to technically ensure that military AI-based technologies are designed and deployed in line with public values and the rule of law. On this basis, the project will seek to operationalise public values into policy and technical solutions. 

Boutin will lead the research project, with team members Terry Gill and Tom van Engers.

Partners in this project are Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (Geneva), PAX, Thales Nederland, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and TNO.

Big Brother wants your vote: how critical micro-targeting influences Dutch democracy 

Natali Helberger and her team received funding of 750 thousand euros for a research project on microtargeting. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between law, communication science, political philosophy and computer science. Amsterdam Law School is the coordinator. 

Political parties send citizens tailored, microtargeted messages, hoping to get more votes. This approach comes with potential upsides (more political engagement) and potential downsides (deceit of citizens). This project studies the chances and threats of microtargeting to society and how to limit these threats and embrace the chances.

Partners in the project are AlgorithmWatch, DATACTIVE Ideas Lab, ProDemos, WhoTargetsMe.