Ammodo Science Award for Tamar Sharon and iHub

Date of news: 22 March 2022

This year's Ammodo Science Award for Groundbreaking Research in the domain of Humanities was awarded, in part, to Tamar Sharon, professor of Philosophy, Digitalization and Society at Radboud University and her colleagues at iHub. They receive the award for their research into the impact of digitalisation on public values.

Sharon and the Interdisciplinary Hub for Digitizaliation and Society (iHub) are one of the two laureates of the biennial award. They will receive a sum of 1.2 million euro, which can be used to further expand the research at iHub. At iHub, researchers from various disciplines are working together to identify the challenges and opportunities that digitalisation brings to society. iHub was established by Tamar Sharon and Bart Jacobs in 2019. It currently also includes legal scholars, social scientists, philosophers, software developers and many others.

New research at iHub

The focus of research at iHub is divided into four main lines: privacy & security, solidarity & justice, freedom & democracy and expertise & meaningful work. Sharon indicates that the funds from the Ammodo Science Award will be used to further expand the current research lines. "For example, we would like to conduct studies into digital surveillance in (post-)pandemic society. In the past years, many governments have introduced COVID passes: has the pandemic normalised the use of such technology, and what are the legal and ethical consequences?"

Other projects are aimed at, for example, discrimination by algorithms and how these can be made to be more inclusive in order to prevent the re-occurrence of situations such as the recent childcare benefits scandal in the Netherlands. In the area of democracy and freedom, the researchers are studying the impact of technology companies involved in domains such as healthcare and education. Another project is also starting that will investigate how employees experience the collaboration between humans and AI in practice. How do people experience this collaboration, what are the effects on the daily work routine and what adjustments are required? The new research projects will be elaborated in the next few months.

"We are extremely happy that iHub received the Ammodo Science Award,” says Han van Krieken, Rector Magnificus of Radboud University. Digitalisation is all around us, and the biggest possible risk is that our society would lose part of its humanity, justice and culture. The innovative and diverse team of humanities scholars at iHub contains the unique capacity to pinpoint what impact digitalisation has on our culture and ethics, in other words: on what make us human".