Home Updates Over ons Big Data Activiteiten Kennisbank Links Contact

Image Recognition, Policy and Society

What are the potential purposes, challenges and opportunities of image recognition?



Technology and data have become embedded in public organizations and have shaped the way business processes function and the effects they have. However, the way technology, data and information do so remain a black box in some respects. The KWP Urban Big Data has appointed Dr Kevin Pijpers for two years (starting 1 January 2021) as a post-doctoral researcher to open this black box and explore the way technology deals with problems, opportunities and alternatives in the public policy making process.

The project will be conducted with and in the municipality of Rotterdam and more specifically the department of Stadsbeheer. In our research case we find that the department of Stadsbeheer is exploring the issue of image recognition as a solution for a large number of policy problems. At this point it is not clear for which purposes image recognition can be used and what the potential challenges or opportunities are per possible solution.

The focus of the research will to be to explore these challenges and opportunities within, and possibly outside, of the department of Stadsbeheer. Conceptually we find that image recognition is a solution, however, the problems are not defined yet, just as the opportunity stream. The goal of the research is to see how, when and under which conditions the streams can meet, providing a window of opportunity for public policy making using image recognition.

We want to couple views on technology and public policy making with a public innovation perspective. There is a lot of research on public innovation in which diffusion and adoption on innovation is discussed. What is interesting in this case specifically is that in most adoption and diffusion research a single innovation is either adopted or not adopted, and the innovation itself is taken in its entireness (Rogers, 2003; Osborne & Brown, 2005; Korteland, 2012). In this case we want to break open this theory and understand how an innovation (image recognition) is used in different ways throughout an organization. The emphasis here is on the words ‘different ways’.

We expect to find that the idea of image recognition is adopted in several different ways, several different fields, for several different purposes and in several different capacities. We aim to explain how and why the same technological idea is implemented in different capacities throughout organizations and used for public policy design. We want to look within organizations and at both institutional and organizational elements in explaining the different capacities of the same technology in terms of public innovation.

Kevin will conduct this research project at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research team includes Dr. Rebecca Moody (DPAS/EUR), Dr. Fadi Hirzalla (EUR and co-ordinator KWP Urban Big Data), Koos de Voogt (Municipality of Rotterdam) and Peter Grootveld (Municipality of Rotterdam).

For more information please contact Kevin at pijpers@essb.eur.nl.