Media Innovation Circle #18
[co-organised by DIMENDx – A SMART-ER Funded Project]
May 5 @2:30pm-3:30pm (Lisbon Time)
Trust, transparency, and openness: How inclusion of cultural values shapes Nordic national public policy strategies for artificial intelligence (AI)
Speaker: Cory Robinson, Linköping University – Sweden
Moderation: Maria João Antunes, University of Aveiro
Onsite: 40.1.8 – Department of Communication and Art – UA

An Associate Professor in Communication Design and Information Systems, Cory is the Founder of the Nordic Privacy Center. He is an invited expert in privacy and personal data for AI4People’s 2020 “Health and AI” and “Media+Technology” boards, and advises in areas of personal data and privacy. Cory teaches courses in Big Data ethics, privacy in Smart Cities, and topics within communication technology and international marketing.
Focusing on areas of privacy and ethics, his current research investigates disclosure of sensitive personal data, including biometric and health data, in Internet platforms and surveillance technologies, and ethical frameworks for collection of person data in wearables and IoT (Internet of Things). His most recent publication explores the influence of cultural values of trust, transparency, and openness in Nordic national AI policy.
The Nordic Privacy Center is a research-based institution inspired by the Nordics’ shared cultural values of trust, transparency, and openness, with the intent to inform policy, encourage progressive research in themes related to privacy, including informed, consented use of personal data in AI, IoT, and e-health.


Using textual analysis methodology with Hofstede’s cultural dimensions as basis for cross-national comparison, the manuscript explores the influence of cultural values of trust, transparency, and openness in Nordic national artificial intelligence (AI) policy documents. Where many AI processes are technologies hidden from view of the citizen, how can public institutions support and ensure these high levels of trust, transparency, and openness in Nordic culture and extend these concepts of “digital trust” to AI? One solution is by authoring national policy that upholds cultural values and personal rights, ultimately reinforcing these values in their societies. The paper highlights differences in how Nordic nations position themselves using cultural values as organizing principles, with the author showing these values (i.e., trust through clear information and information security, transparency through AI literacy education and clear algorithmic decision making, and openness by creating data lakes and data trusts) support the development of AI technology in society. The analysis shows that three cultural values are upheld and influence Nordic national AI strategies, while themes of privacy, ethics, and autonomy are present, and democracy, a societal building block in the Nordics, is especially prominent in the policies. For policy development, policy leaders must understand that without citizen involvement in AI implementation or lacking citizen AI education, we risk alienating those for who these services are meant to utilize and improve access for.