ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S)

This image is an arrangement of ten smaller images in different sized boxes. Most of the people in the photos are blurred and indistinct, indicating movement. The smaller images are: a person in a wheelchair being pushed by another person; a person walking in a room that may be a child’s nursery; a person and a machine in the aisle of a warehouse; a woman and a child on a scooter in the fruit and vegetable section of a supermarket; a person using a machine in a factory; a bird’s eye view of two people passing each other on a garden path; men dressed in business attire walking past each other including one man who has stopped to look at the mobile phone in his hand; a delivery worker crouching in the back of a loaded van, while other delivery workers move trolleys loaded with boxes in front of the van’s open doors; a woman standing on a platform as a train moves past; and two dozen or so commuters milling around on a different platform, some of whom are boarding a train while others wait for another train on the opposite platform.

Automated decision-making (ADM) comprises an expanding array of intelligent technologies – from deep learning to blockchains – which promise to solve challenging problems across many sectors, from healthcare and social services to transport and media. ADM promises to make essential services more personal, and to enhance choice and control for citizens and communities. However, its widespread uptake also creates startling new risks of misuse and malfunction. Rapidly evolving technologies such as machine learning and distributed ledgers are likely to produce both spectacular successes and failures. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society aims to create the knowledge and strategies necessary for responsible, ethical and inclusive automated decision-making in these domains. Our Centre combines leading researchers from the humanities and social and technological sciences in an international industry, research and civil society network. We work with technologists, policy-makers and public communicators. We aim to enhance public understanding, inform public debate, and train a new generation of researchers and practitioners in this challenging new field.

The Western Sydney University Node is closely linked to the People Program in the Centre. The work in the WSU node focuses upon the ways in which ADM is being integrated into the lives of communities in global contexts and amongst non-dominant communities in Australia. Attending to issues of equity and power, the research team will explore the norms around privacy and personhood that shape existing, emergent and future practices of automated decision-making.

Research Team: 

  • Professor Heather Horst, Chief Investigator – Western Sydney University Node
  • Associate Professor Liam Magee, Associate Investigator – Western Sydney University Node
  • Dr Adam Sargent, Research Fellow - Western Sydney University Node
  • Zoe Horn, PhD Student – Western Sydney University Node
  • Rakesh Kumar, PhD Student – Western Sydney University Node
  • Dr Yasmin Tambiah, Project Officer – Western Sydney University Node

Research Affiliates:

Funding: Australian Research Council (opens in a new window), Centre of Excellence

Period: 2020-2027

Project website: (opens in a new window)

Contact: Professor Heather A. Horst