International Workshop

Call for Papers: Politics of Machine Learning Evaluation

Date of the Event: 16-17 November 2023
Venue: Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Amsterdam
Deadline for submission: 30 June 2023

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) of the University of Amsterdam will host an international workshop exploring the political dimension of Machine Learning (ML), inviting interested participants to contribute to the content of this event.

Background and Motivation

Is the data good enough for training purposes? Does the model perform accurately enough? Is the error rate low enough? Such questions of ‘good enough’ are at the very core of the process of Machine Learning evaluation and can also be considered a highly political process in the development of ML systems. There is already a growing interest in the political implications of ML in relation to, for example, dataset construction and the political capacities of specific ML models or foundational algorithmic techniques. However, there has been less focus on the politics of evaluation practices and techniques in ML.

To further explore this issue, the organisers invite contributions to a workshop on ‘The Politics of Machine Learning Evaluation’ at the University of Amsterdam in November 2023. The aim of this workshop is to collectively engage with conceptualisations and the methodologies of how to study ML evaluation techniques. They invite papers that engage with conceptual, methodological, and political questions in relation to topics, such as but are not limited to:

  • Dataset construction
  • Data labelling practices
  • Ground truths and benchmarks
  • Biases in evaluation
  • Metrics
  • Errors and error analysis
  • Evaluation techniques

Concretely, the team invites papers that engage in conceptualising or historizing ML evaluation as a politically contested practice, provide methodological approaches to the study of evaluation techniques or empirical examples of ML evaluation in practice. It will be an interdisciplinary workshop, open to scholars from a variety of disciplines. So send your paper now!

The Event

The workshop is organised by Dieuwertje Luitse, Anna Schjøtt Hansen and Tobias Blanke, and will take place on Thursday 16 (afternoon) & Friday 17 November 2023, at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) located in the city centre of Amsterdam.

The workshop will feature three keynotes by Florian Jaton (University of Lausanne), Nanna Bonde Thylstrup (Copenhagen Business School) and Claudia Aradau (Kings College London).

Accepted papers will get the opportunity to receive feedback from one of the three keynote speakers as well as peer-discussants. Furthermore, we aim to develop a special issue in a peer-reviewed journal on the basis of the submitted papers, for which all workshop participants will have the opportunity to contribute.

Submission of Papers

Deadline for submission is 30 June 30 of a 300-500 words abstract. Abstracts should be sent to and, with the subject line ‘Workshop: Politics of Machine Learning Evaluation’. Before the workshop in November, participants will be expected to send draft discussion papers for other participants and keynotes to read.

The workshop is funded by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), the Amsterdam school for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) and the Research Priority Area Human(e) AI. It will be hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Amsterdam.