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This is a pre-workshop, part of the panel "Observation, Collaboration, Intervention: Navigating Tensions and Opportunities of Engaged Methodologies" at this year's EASST4S conference. It is organized by the Empirical Ethics research group in collaboration with Aysel Sultan (Technical University Munich) and Angela Filipe (University of Durham).
Event details of Where are the Publics of AI?
15 July 2024
09:00 -14:00

The rise to dominance of Generative AI may entail a fundamental reframing of where and how public participation takes place in relation to technology. While there are plenty of initiatives that involve everyday publics in debates and citizen deliberations about AI, it has been pointed out that participation in AI today mostly unfolds on an altogether different plane of social, cultural and political reality: through innumerable acts of mundane participation - from filling forms to writing social media posts to typing an address into a navigation app - everyday publics generate the data and co-produce the contexts on which the functioning of AI depends.

However, even as everyday participation has become "infrastructuralised" in an age of AI, the forms of public participation in AI remain in flux and contested. In controversies about facial recognition in public space to scandals that might at first glance seem minor, like Kate Middleton Gate, concerns with AI have thrown a shadow over the public imaginary and amplified fears of conspiracies. Furthermore, insofar as experts define AI (and its ethics) through internalist logics and are invested in its containment inside computational infrastructures, little space is left for publics to engage or have a say. 

This raises the following questions: what if any possibilities are there for everyday publics -- who as patients, citizens, road users, benefit claimants, test subjects etc. are defined by their roles in institutional settings -- to participate in AI as an techno-epistemic object? What is involved, what is at stake and what might it take to “situate" AI in the public realm today? Where are the publics of AI?

Programme (Provisional)

9:00 Workshop introduction with Noortje and Alex

Session 1: AI, post-colonialism and feminist techno-politics

Speakers: Nassim Parvin; Thao Phan

Respondent: Brit Ross Winthereik




Session 2: AI in broken worlds

Speakers: Maya Indira Ganesh; Lonneke van der Velden

Respondent: Steve Jackson


Session 3: The labour and politics of innovation 

Speakers: Lilly Irani; Milagros Miceli

Respondent: Mercedes Bunz

13:00 Lunch

This is an invitation-only event.