2023-09-12 15:30 - 17:00 E.19.03
The Heraclitean Web: How Digital Investigation Became Subjective
Abstract: Heraclitus said: ’No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man’. The same could be said about our algorithmically mediated digital infrastructure. No user ever visits the same website or app twice, as behavioural profiles are constantly updated and the digital environment continually adapted in response. Where we once had a static web of documents, we now have a dynamic web of algorithms. This threatens traditional methods used by external investigators to empirically study and audit platforms that impact individuals and society. In this talk I outline the dimensions, scale, and political implications of this change, and suggest some ways forward.
Bio: Reuben Binns is an Associate Professor of Human Centred Computing, working between computer science, law, and philosophy, focusing on data protection, machine learning, and the regulation of and by technology. Between 2018-2020, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in AI at the Information Commissioner’s Office, addressing AI / ML and data protection. He joined the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher in 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Web Science from The University of Southampton in 2015.