New Book Release: „Democratic Algorithms“ by Nikolaus Poechhacker

We are excited to announce the publication of „Democratic Algorithms: Ethnography of a Public Recommender System“ by Nikolaus Poechhacker, an exploration into the intersection of algorithm design and democratic values, published by meson press. In his work, Nikolaus Poechhacker ethnographically examines the creation of an algorithmic recommender system within a public broadcaster, highlighting the challenges and opportunities of integrating democratic principles into algorithmic design, raising questions not only about organizational and technical implementation, but also about the possible compatibility of such an algorithmic system with democratic constitutions.

Through comprehensive ethnographic research, Nikolaus Poechhacker addresses pivotal questions on value-by-design processes in the making of algorithmic systems and highlights that making democratic algorithms is an ongoing process, even after the implementation of the software. Further, the book provides careful suggestions, how social theory can help to grasp the complex phenomenon of algorithmic systems. As such, Democratic Algorithms explores theoretically and empirically informed perspectives on how we can imagine and design algorithms for a democratic society, and what we even mean by that.

This publication is available in both print and pdf (open access). For more information and to obtain a copy, visit meson press.

About the Author: Nikolaus Poechhacker is post-doctoral researcher at the Digital Age Research Center (D!ARC) of the University of Klagenfurt and research fellow at the Department of Innovation and Digitalization of Law, University of Vienna. His work focuses on the sociopolitical and -legal dimensions of digital technology bringing together perspectives from media theory, STS, computer science, and sociology.

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