Saarland State Chancellery promotes cooperation between DFKI and the State Media Authority in the “MarKIeR” research project on the transparency of algorithms

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Minister President Tobias Hans: A win-win situation for Saarland as a media and research location.

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the Saarland State Media Authority (LMS) are working together on a new research project entitled “Feasibility study on the use of AI tools to support the state media authorities in verifying the legally compliant implementation of the transparency requirements of the State Media Treaty by media intermediaries” (MarKIeR).

The research project is scheduled to run for three years and is being funded by the Saarland State Chancellery with around 300,000 euros. The media and research location Saarland makes this cooperation possible in the first place.

Saarland’s Minister President Tobias Hans is delighted: “Media intermediaries such as Google and Facebook are having an increasing influence on opinion formation. In this respect, the new State Media Treaty was a media policy milestone. However, it is also important that the implementation of the transparency requirements deposited there is monitored. Here, the cooperation between LMS and DFKI in the “MarKIeR” project is exemplary for the whole of Germany and demonstrates our excellent research expertise in the key area of “artificial intelligence”. At the same time, the media and research location Saarland benefits in a “win-win situation” from this joint project. Both areas are important components of our current innovation strategy.”

“The new regulations in the State Media Treaty are an important building block for an inclusive media order that enables all people to participate in the media opinion-forming process. Due to the new and diverse tasks in the area of media intermediaries assigned to the state media authorities by the State Media Treaty, we are facing the challenge of effectively carrying out supervisory activities in these new fields. And this is where Saarland, with its cutting-edge research in the field of artificial intelligence, can make an important contribution,” says Ruth Meyer, Director of the LMS.

Prof. Antonio Krüger, CEO DFKI: “The main difficulty in the review is that the algorithms used on the part of media intermediaries fall under their trade secrets, so transparency and non-discrimination must be reviewed without full access to these algorithms. Against this background, we will conduct a feasibility study at DFKI, the aim of which is to facilitate these supervisory activities over media intermediaries for the LMS by means of the use of digital tools and to determine the extent to which artificial intelligence methods can be used in this context.”

The background to the project is the new regulations of the Media State Treaty. If, on the one hand, the digitalization of the media world facilitates the dissemination of opinion-relevant content, on the other hand, this increase is synonymous with a new lack of clarity. In this situation, so-called media intermediaries, such as Google or Facebook, are becoming increasingly important. They mediate between the providers of information and their users and are thus an important factor in the opinion-forming process today. Equal access to content and the ability to find it in the offerings are of central importance here. The participation of as many people as possible is a necessary condition for a lively and open democracy.