Critical Data & AI Lecture Series #7. AI competitions as Infrastructures of Power

Lecture by Dieuwertje Luitse, University of Amsterdam.


Following a long-standing tradition in Computer Science, AI competitions play an increasingly important role in contemporary machine-learning system and application development. In this talk, Luitse will build on critical AI, science and technology studies and platform studies research to explore how such competitions are organised—under which infrastructural conditions and by whom—through AI competition platforms such as Kaggle and Grand Challenge. Conceptualising them as large-scale infrastructural agents, she will shed light on the role these platform-based competitions play in structuring power relations across AI (sub)domains and how they set the conditions of possibility for machine-learning development pipelines, including the definition of research problems, the construction of datasets as well as model production and evaluation.


Dieuwertje Luitse is a PhD candidate on Data Bodies at the University of Amsterdam, department of Media Studies. In her research, she critically examines the power, ethics & politics of data, AI system development and infrastructures in healthcare. This project is part of an interdisciplinary research focus area on AI for Health Decision-making that brings together research from Computer Science, Medicine, Law and the Humanities.

About the lecture series

The Critical Data and AI Lecture series is organized by Louis Ravn and Nanna Bonde Thylstrup as a joint venture between the research projects AI REUSE (DFF) and Data Loss: The Politics of Disappearance, Destruction and Dispossession in Digital Societies (DALOSS, ERC Stg).