Ansgar Koene is the East Midlands Local Champion 2017

Written by Angsar Koene, Senior Research Fellow and Policy Impact lead at the Horizon Digital Economy Research institute (University of Nottingham)

Dr. Ansgar Koene has been announced as the East Midlands local Champion 2017. Dr. Ansgar Koene is Senior Research Fellow and Policy Impact lead at the Horizon Digital Economy Research institute (University of Nottingham) working on the intersection between engineering, social science and policy development.

He is a multi-disciplinary research scientist who previously worked on AI, computational neuroscience, psychophysics, robotics and human-robot interactions in the Netherlands, France, Japan, Taiwan and the UK.

Ansgar’s work currently focuses on the issues of unjustified/unintended bias in algorithmic systems such as search engines, recommender and decision support systems and social media news feed algorithms. He leads the stakeholder engagement activities of the EPSRC funded UnBias project, which engages with industry, NGOs, regulatory organizations, academics and teachers to develop design- and policy-recommendations for identifying and mitigating sources of algorithm bias, and educational materials to promote constructive critical thinking about algorithmic system behaviour. As part of this work Ansgar also leads the IEEE’s P7003 working group for the development of a Standard for Algorithm Bias Considerations.

Recent projects include the CaSMa project interrogating the ethical and privacy dimensions of social media data analysis, taking a citizen’s perspective on the use of person related data in research and online services. As part of this work Ansgar and the CaSMa team engaged in a collaboration with the 5Rigths framework initiative to run a series of ‘Youth Juries’ debating the role of the internet in young people’s lives. The subsequent report “THE INTERNET ON OUR OWN TERMS: How Children and Young People Deliberated About Their Digital Rights” was launched at the House of Lords on January 31st 2017.

Since 2016 Ansgar has submitted evidence to parliamentary inquiries on, Fake News, Algorithms in decision-making, Children and the Internet, Role and priorities of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) interim chair, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Investigatory Powers Bill: technology issues, Digital skills, Online platforms and the EU Digital Single Market.

In Nottingham, Ansgar is part of the steering group for Nottingham Council’s Civic Tech project that is developing a local ‘hacker-space’ for citizen led smart city tech development. He also acts as science and ethics advisor for a local SME developing an online civic engagement platform.

Most recently Ansgar has joined the IEEE UK & Ireland STEM Committee to help their work on promoting STEM education in the UK, and is working with Dr. Matthew Daniels of Good of All and Human Rights Network to promote young people’s engagement with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Human Rights Network encouraged engagement with the UDHR by helping young people to create powerful YouTube videos about a Human Right through the editing of clips from well known movies.

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