International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

Dr. Lou Therese Brandner

Society, Culture and Technological Change

Lou Brandner is a research associate at the IZEW since 2022. She holds an MSc in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam and did her PhD at Sapienza University of Rome on new forms of work in connection with urban and digital networking practices. Before joining the IZEW, she was a research fellow at the University of Cagliari.

Since August 2022, Lou is IZEW Staff Representative.

Areas of Expertise

  • AI and data ethics
  • Integrated technology development
  • Sociology of communication
  • Urban sociology
  • Qualitative methodologies


Selected talks


  • 17/10/2023: Platform (In)Justice: A Call for a Global Research Agenda (with H. Jang, N. Narayanamoorthy, L. Schelenz et al., The 26th ACM Conference On Computer-Supported Cooperative Work And Social Computing (CSCW ’23), Minneapolis, USA.
  • 28/09/2023: Automatisierte Bewerbungsgespräche: Die Abhängigkeit ethischer KI-Entwicklung von Trainingsdatenqualität, XVIII. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft: Abhängigkeiten, University of Bonn, Germany.
  • 21/09/2023: Datafizierte Polizeiarbeit – Künstliche Intelligenz und andere technische Lösungen für verantwortungsvolle Strafverfolgungsprozesse (with Anna Louban), Fünfter Kongress der deutschsprachigen Rechtssoziologie-Vereinigungen, Innsbruck, Austria.
  • 08/06/2023: How Data Quality Determines AI Fairness: The Case of Automated Interviewing (with Frauke Rostalski, Philipp Mahlow, Anna Wilken, Annika Wölke, Hazar Harmouch & Simon David Hirsbrunner), 2nd European Workshop on Algorithmic Fairness, Winterthur, Switzerland.
  • 05/05/2023: Ethische Analyse von Verfahren des maschinellen Lernens zur Gesichtserkennung, Künstliche Intelligenz in der Kriminalitätskontrolle: Gesellschaftliche und rechtliche Dimensionen, TU Berlin, Germany.
  • 30/03/2023: Data quality as a prerequisite for trustworthy AI, HLRS Spring Workshop, High Performance Computing Center, Stuttgart, Germany (online).


  • 06/12/2022: Artificial Intelligence and Ethics. The Case of Medical Training Data, Division of Data Protection and Governance, Charité Berlin, Germany (online).
  • 06/10/2022: Algorithmic Profiling in AI Policing, ESDiT: Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies, Leiden, Netherlands.
  • 31/03/2022: La comunicazione universitaria digitale, Final Conference of the CONCRETE project, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • 18/02/2022: ECREA Panel: (Trans)forming the (post-)digital city: Current issues, future visions (with Tetyana Lokot, Scott Rodgers, Marcos Dias), DIGISTA: The (Post-)Digital City: Media, Technology and Architecture, University of Augsburg, Germany (online).


  • 09/09/2021: Airbnb‘s “home sharer“ narrative in Berlin and Rome. Neoliberal city, platform citizenship and digital labour (with Stefania Parisi), ECREA: 8th European Communication Conference (online).
  • 01/09/2021: Idealistic Rejection vs. Curated Intimacy. Freelance Creative Labour and Digital Networking, European Sociological Associaton (ESA): Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures (online).
  • 24/06/2021: Home sharers o platform workers? Una ricerca sugli host di Airbnb a Roma e Berlino (with Stefania Parisi and Mariacristina Sciannamblo), SISCC: Le Reti dei Valori. I Valori delle Reti (online).


  • 22/08/2019: Airbnb and the Platform City. An Ambiguous Overlap Between Digital Workers and Citizens (with Stefania Parisi), European Sociological Association (ESA): Europe and Beyond. Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging, Manchester, UK.
  • 07/06/2019: How do Freelance Creatives Establish and Maintain Social Networks in Digital and Urban Spaces? Culture, Media and Creative Industries: Emerging Voices, King’s College, London, UK.


  • 06/10/2018: Italian Creatives: Networking Practices in the Transforming Urban Space, European Sociological Association (ESA): Social Structures, Culture and Institutions in Southern European Societies. University of Catania, Italy.


Selected publications

  • Borderline decisions? Lack of justification for automatic deception detection at EU borders (2024) with D. Minkin, in: TATuP - Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis 33(1): 34-40.
  • Platform (in)justice: A call for a global research agenda (2023) with H. Jang, N. Narayanamoorthy, L. Schelenz, A. Burkhardt, S. Hirsbrunner and S. Timcke, in: Companion Publication of the 2023 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW '23). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, USA, 411-414.
  • How data quality determines AI fairness: The case of automated interviewing (2023) with P. Mahlow, A. Wilken, A. Wölke, H. Harmouch und S. Hirsbrunner, in: Proceedings of the 2nd European Workshop on Algorithmic Fairness, Winterthur, Switzerland.  
  • Algorithmic fairness in police investigative work: Ethical analysis of machine learning methods for facial recognition (2023) with S. Hirsbrunner, in: TATuP - Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis 32(1): 24-9.
  • When one becomes wwo: Man–machine hybridization in urban cyclists with broken bikes (2021), in: Transfers 11(3): 105-119.
  • The social capital of creative freelancers: Networking practices in digital and urban spheres (2021), PhD Thesis, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
  • Sociality entangled: Freelance creative labour and digital networking (2021), in: E. Wahal (ed.): Unboxing AI. Understanding Artificial Intelligence. Utopie 108: Futuro del lavoro. Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Milan, Italy: 83-92.
  • Obsolete dichotomies? Sociological research and political bias (2019), in: G. Brancato et al. (eds.): CNDSS 2018. Atti della III Conferenza Nazionale delle Dottorande e dei Dottorandi in Scienze Sociali, Sapienza University Press, Rome, Italy: 281-290.

Organisation of conferences and events

  • Conference “The Synthetic City”, organised with the ECREA section "Media, Cities and Space" (Scott Rodgers, Marcos Dias and Diogo Pereira Henriques); chair of the panels "Algorithms and Images”, “Agency, Algorithms and Resistance” and “Generation, Modelling and Design”, 6-7 September 2023, Dublin City University, Ireland.
  • Symposium "Social Justice and Technological Futures”, organised with Laura Schelenz et al.; chair of the panel "Critical Perspectives on Global AI Developments: Ethics, Economy, Equality”, 2-3 May 2023, University of Tübingen, Germany.
  • YECREA workshop “Developing Research on Media, Cities and (Digital) Space”, organised with Stefania Parisi (La Sapienza University) and the ECREA section "Media, Cities and Space" (Tetyana Lokot, Scott Rodgers and Marcos Dias), 14/10/2022, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
  • Final conference of the CONCRETE project, organised with Alessandro Lovari, Ciro Cangiano et al., 31/03/2022, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Conference “Voci e sguardi sulla città: Interpretazioni a confronto”, organised with Matteo Finco, Silvia De Nardis, Melissa Sessa et al., Atelier delle Scienze Politiche e Sociali, 26-27 January 2022, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.



Since 04/2022

Research Associate


Since 08/2022

Staff Representative


Since 10/2022

Vice Chair

"Media, Cities & Space" Section

European Communication and Education Association (ECREA)

Until 03/2022

Research Fellow

University of Cagliari, Italy


PhD in Sociology

La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

PhD Scholarship, specialisation: Sociology of Communication


Master of Science in Sociology

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Specialisation: Urban Sociology


Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies

European University Viadrina, Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany

Specialisations: Comparative Social Studies, Linguistics