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Matthias Kloft

Short Vita
Matthias obtained a BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MA in Science and Technology Studies from Goethe University. His M.A. thesis was based on an ethnographic study exploring the role of speculative knowledge within Lebanon’s hydrocarbon industry. Matthias also worked as a research assistant at Goethe University’s Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology in collaboration with the Centre for Responsible Digitality on the project, ‚Regulatory Theories of Artificial Intelligence.‘ His research interests include digital anthropology, critical data studies, and energy studies.

Project Description
Matthias’s Ph.D. project examines the role of AI in the financial sector. From an ethnographic perspective, his research tracks how different experts engage with changing and increasingly more complex digital and computational methods to maximize profit. By exploring automated algorithmic trading systems and their contributions towards reconfiguring securities and stock markets, the study considers encounters and entanglements of AI, traders, software developers, and data scientists as socio-material assemblages. The project also explores distinctive and, at times, contradictory policy narratives about possible AI futures. AI is anticipated and regulated as a potentially risky yet highly disruptive technology that must be made trustworthy. By investigating practices of governance as part of these AI financial assemblages, the study takes stock of the ambiguities and frictions that surface in relation to neoliberalism and financialization.