Big Data Initiative Workshop: Algorithms and Society
This EBU Big Data Initiative workshop organized with the RTBF gave the floor to renowned big data experts and launched a discussion for EBU members on the impact of algorithms on society, how algorithms influence media consumption and what it changes for citizens.
In his opening remarks, EBU President and RTBF Administrator General Jean-Paul Philippot explained why the RTBF has started the migration towards a future-proof, big data-compatible organisation, highlighting the major impact of recommendations on audiences' choices for on-demand video. This migration requires new tools such as efficient recommendation systems, new skills, and new mindsets. The way forward for public service media (PSM) is to make broadcasters’ recommendation and data analysis systems based on algorithms which reflect the EBU Values. This should help PSM be agile, distinctive and essential in today and tomorrow’s digital environment.
Speakers addressed a wide range of key concrete issues: the impact of big data on PSM management, the use of big data to support the newsroom, measurement of engagement, potential 'filter bubbles' and the societal impact of algorithms in fragmenting societies or spreading fake or poor quality news or the design of algorithms which match high ethical standards,.
Speeches were followed by parallel thematic workshops on the second day that allowed for a concrete exchange of views and of experience on such questions as how to measure the success of an algorithm, how to counter the so called ‘filter bubble’ effect, or how to meet people’s need for data usage-related skills.