Call for Papers: Governance of Big Data and AI Workshop – Tilburg, Netherlands



Event Date: 

06/6/19 to 06/7/19

Location name: 

Tilburg, Netherlands


Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) and the Governance and Regulation Chair (GovReg) at University Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University

Datafication has massively influenced processes within organizations, on markets, and more generally throughout society. Machine learning pushes the loop between data accumulation and innovation even further. After four economic governance workshops that focused on the role of competition (in 2010), organizations (in 2013), social preferences (in 2015), and data-driven markets (in 2017), respectively, we now strive to stimulate the debate about the economic, political, legal, and social effects of big data and artificial intelligence.

As a case of special focus, algorithm-driven platforms such as social media, search engines, and news aggregators have become dominant players in news dissemination. This has transformed the media sector and the way we think about democratic political elections and the legitimacy of those elections’ outcomes, with yet unknown consequences for our political systems and for many markets that are tipping towards the technological leader.

These developments challenge our rules of the game: are Western institutions, formal and informal, set up appropriately to ensure fair competition among firms, innovators, politicians, or political parties? What does it mean for competition law, privacy and data access laws, international treaties, election commissions’ procedures, and the codes of conduct on online platforms if most of us can be traced and monitored most virtually unbounded opportunities and progress for humanity – or towards a setting, where the state or large private actors control every aspect of life and the net profits of global technological progress are enjoyed by very few very rich and influential individuals? Combining approaches from (institutional) economics, political science, and law, the goal of this workshop is threefold:

1. What problems are specific to data-driven markets? What is the theory of harm, that is, what are the problems limiting optimal solutions? What are the underlying mechanisms that lead to the potential harm identified? A special focus of this workshop is the impact of big data and AI on politics, both in democracies and in autocracies.

2. In sectors where a theory of harm can be carved out, is there a need for intervention in political landscapes, markets, or even international relations? What kind of interventions might solve or mitigate the problems identified? Or is it best to leave innovation infrastructures untouched, even if market failures and election rigging were identified, and rely on competitive forces to solve the problems?

3. If intervention is needed in one sector, what is the best way of intervention to tackle which problem? How should data-driven political systems or markets be governed? By national or supranational regulation (public ordering)? Or by selfgovernance of citizens or industry-participants in some form (private ordering)? Should behavior be monitored by private associations or public-private
partnerships? What are critical elements for the corporate governance structure of monitoring or regulatory bodies?

The Governance and Regulation Chair at the University Paris-Dauphine | PSL (GovReg) and the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) are joining forces for a two-day workshop to discuss topics related to these goals.

• Which parts of the political opinion formation process and what types of markets are affected most by the rise of big data and algorithms? What is the defining element of these structures?
• How is the competitive process impacted by datafication? Would algorithms be able to oversee the competitive process?
• How could social, legal or political institutions be affected by data-driven business models?
• What exactly are problems stemming from limited privacy? Are mechanisms aimed at controlling privacy implementable given the reach of statistical inferences?
• How are opinions and beliefs shaped by algorithms and data-driven processes? Does the answer to this question have implications for the future of democracy, rule of law, collective governance capabilities, openness of (economic and political) competition?
• Can the postulated negative effects of big data and AI for democracies and data-driven markets that were advanced by theoretical research be substantiated empirically? structures — e.g. private vs. public; national vs. transnational — aimed at regulating industries that are transformed by big data?
• How to deal with the attempts of governments — both democratic and authoritarian — in relying on digital services to monitor citizens and organizations of all kinds?

The workshop will take place at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, on June 6 & 7, 2019 and is planned for two full days. Regular presentations (30 minutes) will be followed by a discussant (10 minutes) and public discussion (20 minutes). For keynote speakers, the format will be 45 minutes presentation and 30 minutes of public discussion. There will be plenty of time for informal discussion and social interaction. Additionally, a poster session may be held during both lunch breaks if the quality of dedicated submitted papers suggests it.

The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2019. Papers should be submitted in PDF format to Long abstracts are accepted but full papers are preferred. Unless otherwise mentioned with the submission, it is understood that the author submitting a paper is also the presenter and present throughout the workshop.
Submitters should indicate whether they want their paper to be considered for a poster session. If accepted for a poster session, authors are responsible themselves for producing their poster.
Authors of accepted papers will be notified by March 1, 2019. Speakers might be asked to discuss another paper. Completed drafts of accepted papers are due by May 24, 2019, and will be made
available for download on the conference website.





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