Skip to main content

Algorithm Inventarium (AI+)

Hosting organisations
exploration space @ Austrian Academy of Sciences
Responsible persons
eveline wandl-vogt

There’s still a general lack of knowledge about how algorithms surround us and determine everyday life in our cities and in many areas of human activity, invisibly and secretly operating through our progressively digitized contexts. The AI+ project addresses the question of how to collaboratively expand society’s awareness and resilience around the operation and impact of algorithms, exemplified on the city of Vienna. Our aim is to locate, dissect, classify and examine algorithms “species” operating behind apps, platforms and other digital tools, in an effort to articulate discovery and discussions beyond the mere mathematical and logical perspectives on algorithms.

In line with open innovation and citizen science perspectives, the goal of the online inventarium is to collaboratively enrich a speculative collection of algorithm “species”. An effort to apply more sociolinguistic, ethical, artistic, political and other possible “humanism-centered” perspectives to the emergent field of study of algorithmic culture. With a special focus on thematic intersections between algorithms and topics like mobility, surveillance, policies, discrimination, local cultures, heritage, sustainability: (1) culture and heritage; (2) privacy and surveillance; (3) platform economy and consumption; (4) sustainability and quality of life; (5) civic activity and social movements. The AI+ initiative also works on the development of research tools and materials for discussion, generating a collaborative open knowledge base about algorithmic culture. For this, we are planning a series of experimental interventions combining action research approaches with digital arts, with collaborations at the local scale (in cities like Vienna or Boston) for a series of artistic and cultural co-creations.

We align with the perspective of the Vienna Manifesto on Digital Humanism, while contributing to ongoing research discussing how to make existing and possible algorithms more visible and explicit, in line with previous initiatives like the Atlas of Automation (from Algorithm Watch) or the Observatory of Algorithms with Social Impact (from Eticas Foundation). AI+ serves as a demonstrator for the Open Innovation Research Infrastructure.