ERC Starting Grant: Ivan Srba reaches the second step of evaluation

Our researcher Ivan Srba applied for the ERC Starting Grant at the beginning of this year. We are very happy and proud to share the encouraging news that Ivan’s project proposal passed the first round of the evaluation process and will proceed to the second and final stage

The ERC evaluation panels, composed of independent experts, have reviewed the submitted proposal and assessed it with the mark A (on the scale of A – C). A team of domain specialists will review the extended version of the project proposal in the upcoming months. The final step of the evaluation will be an interview with the applicant.

It takes an excellent idea to get to the second stage of the evaluation process. And Ivan’s project proposal is just that. The aim of his project is to fundamentally change the way we audit social media AI algorithms

His novel approach will enable automated audits that will be generic (not restricted to a particular social media platform or category of harmful content), multilingual and done continuously over time and over multiple languages to capture trends and changes in AI algorithm’s behaviour. Audits will also include high credibility assurance and human oversight. Independent social media oversight is more than necessary, this solution would mitigate the negative societal impacts of spreading harmful content. 

This is a great achievement, regardless of the final evaluation outcome. Not just for Ivan as a scientist, or for KInIT as the host institution. 

It’s remarkable news for Slovakia as well. 

As a country, we are unfortunately lagging behind the rest of Europe in obtaining ERC grants. In the past 14 years since the ERC funding launch, only one person in Slovakia received the ERC grant.

We wish Ivan all the best with his preparations for the interview and hope to see more Slovak scientists with ambitious ideas applying for the Horizon Europe funding.