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Watchdogs of digital power. Investigating algorithms and artificial intelligence

With Marta Cantero Gamito, Philip Di Salvo, Pierluigi Bizzini, Gabriel Geiger

23 September 2023    14:30 - 16:00

Fondazione Collegio San Carlo – Sala Verde

Via San Carlo 5
Modena, 41121 Italia


Algorithms and artificial intelligence are everywhere, and frequently used also in sensible societal areas to support (or substitute) humans in decision-making processes. Algorithms are being used – among others – in welfare, law enforcement, health and laws in ways that frequently impact the lives of people, and especially those of already marginalized individuals. In these instances, discrimination and biases are a feature, not a bug. Considering this, investigating algorithms and obscure AI systems has progressively become a specialized beat in contemporary journalism. Using hybrid practices of computational journalism, reporters are now “opening” algorithms to expose their inner mechanisms, faults, and the various ways in which they can exercise power over humans. This panel will bring insights from journalists who have covered the algorithmic beat, showing how journalism can provide its own fundamental watchdog function towards digital power and it will discuss how regulation must intervene, in order to provide clear rules for avoiding abuses.

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Pierluigi Bizzini


Pierluigi Bizzini is a Sicilian freelance journalist. He covers issues related to the Mediterranean area and applied technologies in the field of migration. He is a fellow reporter at AlgorithmWatch and an editor at The Syllabus at Alea, an independent…

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Marta Cantero Gamito

Ricercatrice, European University Institute

Marta Cantero Gamito is Associate Professor of Information Technology Law at the University of Tartu and Research Fellow at the School of Trasnantional Governance (EUI). He previously worked at the London School of Economics and the University of Helsinki. Marta…

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Gabriel Geiger

Investigative journalist, Lighthouse Reports

Gabriel is an investigative journalist specialising in surveillance and algorithmic accountability reporting. He began collaborating with Lighthouse in 2021 where he led “Suspicion Machines”, a two-year investigation into the deployment of AI in European welfare systems. His work has appeared…

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Philip Di Salvo

DIG executive and researcher

Philip Di Salvo is a postdoctoral researcher at School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Philip’s main research interests are investigative journalism, Internet surveillance and the relationship between journalism and hacking. Previously, he was…

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