Algorithms, ontology, and social progress

TitleAlgorithms, ontology, and social progress
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsIliadis, Andrew
JournalGlobal Media and Communication
AbstractRecently, media and communication researchers have shown an increasing interest in critical data studies and ways to utilize data for social progress. In this commentary, I highlight several useful contributions in the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) report toward identifying key data justice issues, before suggesting extra focus on algorithmic discrimination and implicit bias. Following my assessment of the IPSP’s report, I emphasize the importance of two emerging media and communication areas – applied ontology and semantic technology – that impact internet users daily, yet receive limited attention from critical data researchers. I illustrate two examples to show how applied ontologies and semantic technologies impact social processes by engaging in the hierarchization of social relations and entities, a practice that will become more common as the Internet changes states towards a ‘smarter’ version of itself.