Triggered by the speed at which applications of artificial intelligence (AI) are emerging and changing the very way in which society organizes itself, we see an important role for research to help lay the foundations for responsible, trustworthy and value-driven AI.

The Research Priority Area Human(e) AI at the University of Amsterdam synthesises ongoing work and stimulates new research at the UvA on the societal consequences of the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) in a wide variety of societal areas. These include news aggregation, cultural heritage, surveillance, and automated justice and cover fundamental research questions in history, sociology, law, ethics, communication, economics, medicine and psychology.

The goal of the RPA is to enable Humane AI: AI and digital technologies contributing to new forms of knowledge production, understanding new forms of agency and intersubjectivity, enhancing cultural and socio-economic equality, improving fairness and respect for fundamental rights in decision-making both in the public and commercial sector, and realizing opportunities for digital citizenship.

To realize these aims, the RPA envisions a set of ambitious and innovative activities along three main pillars.

  1. The initiative will function as a hub for scientific knowledge production and discussion within the University of Amsterdam and beyond. An important objective is to foster bottom-up collaboration across disciplines, and between computer science, law, economics, medical science, social science and the humanities.
  2. The RPA will develop innovative research on the automation of core societal processes, analyzing the consequences for individuals, culture and society in interdisciplinary research projects supported by seed funding. The RPA will demonstrate the advantage of adopting an interdisciplinary approach, connecting researchers within UvA and contributing to both, broader societal and normative research questions, as well as questions on the application level that emerge. This research will initially center around three thematic foci.
  3. The RPA will closely cooperate and share knowledge with societal actors and policymakers, initiating public debate about the societal implications of AI, and develop collaborations with commercial AI partners – building on already established contacts via, among others, the Innovation Center for AI (ICAI) –  as a way to not only generate new scientific advances, but to contribute to a digital society.