Workshop: The Turn To AI in Content Moderation and Communication Governance

Workshop: The turn to artificial intelligence in governing communication online

20.03.2018 | 9:00 – 18:00 ical | gcal
Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Französische Straße 9, 10117 Berlin, Germany

The technology underlying artificial intelligence research has increasingly found applications in the area of content moderation and communication governance on digital platforms. While the scale of problematic online content makes a stronger move reasonable, taking down content through automated means can be risky for online expression and access to information. Amid an obscure use of AI-systems, opaque implementation, vague definitions and a lack of accountability, governments and policy-makers are heavily pressuring companies to take action. And a few EU members states have already responded with new regulatory initiatives.

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and Access Now will host a workshop on technological advancements, the extent of Artificial intelligence deployment and the range of approaches to understanding the status and future impact of AI systems to govern social communication on the internet.

We invite experts from different fields and backgrounds to participate in the discussion on March 20, 2018 in Berlin. If you would like to participate in the workshop, we ask you to apply with an expression of interest being announced below.

Expert Workshop:
The turn to artificial intelligence in governing communication online
HIIG | Französische Str. 9 | 10117 Berlin
20 March 2018 | 9am – 6pm


The workshop will be organized around three problem-oriented questions in order to map challenges of this development:

• Who are the primary agents of the socio-technical change to artificial intelligence in content moderation?
• How is the turn to AI influenced (e.g. governance instruments)?
• Why is the process of change accepted, or not?
Sessions will be chaired by known experts who will provide inputs and facilitate interaction among all participants.


As the emerging issues transcend disciplinary boundaries and perspectives, workshop participants will have diverse backgrounds.The workshop particularly aims at the exchange between academics and non-academics. It will bring researchers and practitioners from key countries in Europe together.

We are looking forward to receiving applications from researchers from all disciplines, members of interest groups and NGOs, as well as practitioners (business, technology) with expertise in artificial intelligence and automation systems in the context of content moderation and the global governance of communication online.

Call for Expressions of Interest

If you would like to participate in the workshop, we ask you to apply with an expression of interest, including (1) your field of work and the related expertise, (2) the specific topics you would like to contribute to the workshop, and (3) how you would benefit from the expertise of other participants, and vice versa, how would participants benefit from your particular contribution (approx. 500 words).

The workshop is limited to 25 participants.

Please send your application to by no later than 25 January 2018 with the subject line “AI and Communication Governance”. We would highly appreciate if you could forward this call across your network.


The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) explores the dynamic relationship between the Internet and society, including the increasing interpenetration of digital infrastructures and various domains of everyday life. Its goal is to understand the interplay of social-cultural, legal, economic and technical norms in the process of digitisation.

Access Now is an international not-for-profit civil society organisation that defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. We are a team of 40, with local staff in 10 locations around the world. We maintain four legally incorporated entities – Belgium, Costa Rica, Tunisia, and the United States – with our tech, advocacy, policy, granting, and operations teams distributed across all regions. By combining innovative policy, user engagement, and direct technical support, we fight for open and secure communications for all. Access Now focuses on freedom of expression, privacy and data protection, network discrimination and internet shutdowns, cybersecurity and more.

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