Research

As a cultural sociologist, I investigate how authenticity is negotiated in the context of emerging technologies. I combine my PhD research about authenticity and artificial (un)intelligence at the University of Twente with my work at SETUP Media Lab.

RESEARCH FRAMEWORK

P
eople and societies increasingly understand themselves in the mirror of AI-technologies. Our communications, jobs, relationships, healthcare systems, welfare regimes, city governance, and educational systems are increasingly co-shaped by data-models and AI-systems. AI increasingly (mis)informs us about what is the self as well as the artefacts surrounding the self. Due to society’s preoccupation with artificial intelligence and robots becoming more “human-like”, have we come to overlook an important, inverse question: in what ways are humans and societies becoming more machine-like?

EXPERTISE

Authenticity // emerging technologies // (digital) culture
My research on the authenticity ideal of ‘being true to yourself’ in the context of mental health medications resulted in a peer-reviewed publication and annual guest lecture for the Sociology mastercourse “Medicalization, Healthcare and Social Control”. I consider my previous jobs in healthcare and social services as an important source of practice-driven knowledge on socio-cultural complexity, and have investigated cultural negotiations of authenticity in the following contexts:
• Medicalization (University of Amsterdam 2011 – 2012)
• Cosmetic surgery (Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology 2013 – 2016)
• Social robotics (Erasmus University, department Medical ethics and Philosophy 2017)
• Human-Machine complementarity (Medialab SETUP 2018 – current)
• Artificial Intelligence (University of Twente 2019 – current)

STRENGTHS

• Writing: SETUP reads // Vrij Nederland // Brainwash // iBestuur // Mediawijzer // Hard//hoofd // OneWorld// Sociale Vraagstukken // Next Nature Network
• Demystifying artificial intelligence and emerging digital technologies
Contributing to ethical debates on emerging technologies
• Critical thinking

pAPERS

• Beerends, S. and Aydin, C. (2021) Negotiating Authenticity in Technological Environments, Philosophy & Technology, 34, 1665–1685. Visit open acces

• Spithoven, R. and Beerends, S. (2019) ‘Crystal ball security’: Towards a responsible application of Big Data techniques in the security complex, Tijdschrift voor veiligheid, 18 (3-4) 75-92. Visit open acces

• Beerends, S. (2019) Book Review The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Delphi – Interdisciplinary Review of Emerging Technologies, Volume 2, Issue 3. Visit open acces

• Beerends, S. (2019) How (Un)intelligent Is Our Collaboration with Artificial Intelligence? Delphi – Interdisciplinary Review of Emerging Technologies, Volume 2, Issue 1. Visit open acces

• Beerends, S. and Bröer, C. (2012) ‘Als je pillen gaat slikken, vermijd je iets wat echt is’: romantische en sociologische denkbeelden in het publieke debat over geestelijke gezondheidszorg. Sociologie, 8 (3), 318-342. Visit open acces

Image by Gerd Leonhard