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Humanist Archives: March 17, 2022, 5:28 a.m. Humanist 35.601 - events: Digital Methods Summer School

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 601.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-03-16 14:44:10+00:00
        From: Marinella Testori <>
        Subject: Digital Methods Summer School '22 - Univ. Amsterdam

[Da: Richard Rogers <>]

Digital Methods Summer School 2022
‘Vision methodologies: New visual analysis online’

4-16 July 2022

New Media & Digital Culture
Media Studies
University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam
the Netherlands

Call for participation

The Digital Methods Initiative (DMI), Amsterdam, is holding its annual
Summer School on 'Vision methodologies'. The format is that of a (social
media and web) data sprint, with tutorials as well as hands-on work for
telling stories with data. There is also a programme of keynote speakers.
It is intended for advanced Master's students, PhD candidates and motivated
scholars who would like to work on (and complete) a digital methods project
in an intensive workshop setting.

Vision methodologies: Research affordances and critique of new visual
analysis online

Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen have produced a withering critique of the
data behind computer vision software and other AI applications. In
Excavating AI, the project they describe as dataset archaeology, they
question the enterprise of image labelling, particularly in the category of
‘persons’, and discuss how sets of labels encompass problematic worldviews.
Among the training data sets they scrutinise is ImageNet, the very large
set of tagged images with a variety of shocking (and more sensible) labels.
In 2019 ImageNet removed images of people, together with their labels,
leading to questions of why the images were sourced as they were and
labelled as they had been. Despite the removal (and the questions
surrounding it) these images and their labels already have downstream
effects, they argue, having served to train vision software, among other
uses. The critique has opened a debate both within the research communities
behind the image sets as well as outside them, asking how to ‘de-bias’ both
the training data and the applications that use them as well as whether to
label at all (or how to do so fairly).

Similar scrutiny has not as yet been made of other aspects of computer
vision analytical outputs (and inputs). In the dual effort to both critique
and repurpose, the Summer School inquires into the affordances of computer
vision for media research, not just the labelling but also especially the
study of image circulation via reverse image search as well as the
contextual tagging of images, otherwise known as web entities. We also
discuss a series of methods to augment automated image analysis through
such data enrichment strategies as emoji and hashtag linkage.

At the Summer School there are the usual social media tool training
tutorials for working on single and cross-platform analysis, but also
continued attention to thinking through and proposing how to work
critically with social media data, both from mainstream social media
platforms as well as so-called alt tech.

Apart from the keynotes and the training tutorials, there are also
empirical and conceptual projects that participants work on. Projects from
the past Summer and Winter Schools include: Detecting Conspiratorial
Hermeneutics via Words & Images, Mapping the Fringe on Telegram;
Greenwashing, in_authenticity & protest; Searching constructive/authentic
posts in media comment sections, Mapping deepfakes with digital methods and
visual analytics, “Go back to plebbit”: Mapping the platform antagonism
between 4chan and Reddit, Profiling Bolsobots Networks, Infodemic
cross-platform analysis, Post-Trump Information Ecology, Streams of
Conspirational Folklore, and FilterTube: Investigating echo chambers,
filter bubbles and polarization on YouTube. The most recent school had some
of the following projects: Climate imaginaries; Repurposing Google Ads;
What is a meme, technically speaking?; Tracing the genealogy and change of
TikTok audio memes; Google Autocomplete: Racist results still?; and OK
Boomer on Twitter.

Summer School ’22 organisers: Richard Rogers and Guillen Torres, Media
Studies, University of Amsterdam. Application information at <>.

Prof. Richard Rogers
Media Studies
University of Amsterdam

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