The Trinity College Centre for Digital Humanities is recruiting a post-doctoral fellow (initial contract for 2 years, extensible for up to 36 months depending on start date and entry grade) with fluency and expertise in digital technology and the humanities to join its growing and diverse team. The purpose of this post is to support the delivery of the KT4D (Knowledge Technologies for Democracy) project.
AI and big data are fundamentally interwoven into our societies, culture and indeed into our expectations and conceptions of democratic governance and exchange. They can also, however, contribute to an environment for citizens that is distinctly anti-democratic. KT4D will harness the benefits of an understanding of these as knowledge technologies to foster more inclusive civic participation in democracy. To achieve this, we will develop and validate tools, guidelines and a Digital Democracy Lab demonstrators platform. These results will be validated across three user needs scenarios: 1) building capacity for citizens and citizen-facing Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); 2) creating regulatory tools and services for Policy and CSOs; and 3) improving awareness of how to design ethically and mindfully for democracy principles in academic and industrial software development. Our work is underpinned by the understanding that to fully address the social and fundamental rights costs of AI and big data, we need more than just technological fixes, we need to address the underlying cultural influences and barriers. Most importantly, we understand the threats to democracy of AI and big data not only through the nature of what they do, but via the cultural disruptions they create with power dynamics they shift, their tendency toward opacity, and the speed at which they change. KT4D’s ambitious and disruptive results will drive transformation in how democracy and civic participation are facilitated in the face of rapidly changing knowledge technologies, enabling actors across society to capitalise on the many benefits these technologies can bring in terms of community empowerment, social integration, individual agency, and trust in both institutions and technological instruments, while confidently mitigating potential ethical, legal and cultural risks.
The KT4D consortium of 12 partners from across Europe has been funded by the European Commission and is led by Trinity College Dublin’s Professor Jennifer Edmond, Co-Director of the Trinity Centre for Digital Humanities. The appointee will be based in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute and will work closely with Professor Edmond and the DH@TCD Team, also based in the Trinity Long Room Hub.
For more information on this position and the recruitment process, see the full job specification here: Research Fellow, Digital Humanities and Democracy. Closing date for applications is 5PM on 18 January 2023.