PhD Position in Social Datafication and Spatial Mobility

Updated: about 2 years ago
Deadline: 15 Jun 2019

Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance (RND) is one of the largest, most internationalized and leading social science research centres in Estonia. As part of Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and its School of Business and Governance, RND functions at the intersection of technological and social science research.

The emergence of big data era has led to serious discussions about social datafication – i.e. the socio-cultural consequences of big data on societies, individual lives, and governmental organizations. Positive consequences like control of spatial mobilities through algorithms and negative consequences like discrimination through datafied decisions are central in these discussions. Estonian society with its contradictions – a highly digitalized environment, moderate use of open data, low awareness of algorithmic control and privacy concerns – offers a highly attractive environment for studying the societal consequences of big data, algorithms, and AI.

Key tasks:

  • The main task of the doctoral researcher is to carry out research in data studies in the field of spatial mobilities (e.g. refugees, highly skilled immigrants, e-residents, ‘data rich’ and ‘data poor’ mobile groups).
  • Participation in the research activities in the domains of (1) data justice - how to avoid discrimination through data, automatized inequalities, racial bias, and movement towards more just data practices, (2) awareness of algorithmic control (the perspectives of data subjects from the Global South, data rich and data poor ethnic / mobile groups), (3) data governance (use of social scoring, AI, machine learning methods in governmental institutions for controlling mobility).
  • Participation in the teaching activities of the research group, including supervision of students;
  • Participation in the administrative functions of the research group.

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