Algorithm Inventarium (also known as AI+) is a recently concluded collaboration between the Austrian Academy of Science (ÖAW) and metaLAB (at) Harvard that sought to explore the development of an open knowledge base regarding algorithmic culture. Five main areas were explored in the course of the project:
• the sketching out of an open-source citizen science digital repository (“inventarium”) and taxonomy of algorithms
• experimentation with toolkits and protocols for a series of sprints dedicated to the collaborative analysis of algorithms pertinent to urban settings
• creative experimentation with, exploration of, and exhibition of algorithms
• initial development of a pool of open research datasets and observations for subsequent work
Although the project was housed at and led by personnel from the ÖAW, metaLAB contributions to the AI+ workflow included visioning meetings (with project staff and affiliates from CERN and several other European organizations) and a series of workshops held in 2020, one of which was held at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria.
Specific work inputs included document writing and editing, bibliographic research, design thinking, and the planning/designing and co-facilitating two public workshops: the 4S EASST conference workshop presented in August 2020, and the Ars Electronica AI+ workshop in November 2020. These were followed by a debriefing meeting on December 16, 2020, and a project “Slackathon” on April 12, 2021, during which Matthew Battles advised on scoping and approaches to future data-directed ÖAW work. Due to Covid-related travel restrictions, we were not able to travel to Europe for in-person work.