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Choosing To Be Smart: algorithms, AI, and avoiding the inevitability of unequal futures

Hosted by the International Inequalities Institute and the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Speakers

Seeta Peña Gangadharan

Seeta Peña Gangadharan

Assistant Professor, Department of Media and Communications, LSE

Seda Gürses

Seda Gürses

FWO Post-Doctoral Fellow, Computer Security & Industrial Cryptography/Technology Group, KU Leuven

Barry Lynn

Barry Lynn

Director, Open Markets Institute, Washington, DC

Chair

Bev Skeggs

Bev Skeggs

Academic Director of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, III, LSE

Barry Lynn, Seda Gürses, and Seeta Peña Gangadharan debate what choices people and institutions have—and should have to make—in the design, diffusion, and disruption of automated technologies.

Since the early 2000s, acquisitions by Microsoft, Google, Intel, and other big tech companies in AI and machine learning have been rapidly growing. As investments continue apace, and algorithms and artificial intelligence become integrated into our daily lives, public debate regularly fixates upon whether new, automated technologies can be used for good or bad. But as anxieties grow, what choices can we effectively make about our so-called intelligent futures? How do we make these choices? Who gets to choose, and at what point in the diffusion of automated technologies? This panel unpacks asymmetries in data-driven markets, the engineering of consent in optimization models used in data-driven technologies, and the politics of refusal in the context of automated systems.

Seeta Peña Gangadharan studies privacy, surveillance, data profiling, and historically marginalised communities. She currently co-leads the Our Data Bodies project, which focuses on the impact of data collection and data-driven systems on the lives of residents of vulnerable neighborhoods of Charlotte, North Carolina, Detroit, Michigan, and Los Angeles, California.

Seda Gürses studies conceptions of privacy and surveillance in online social networks, requirements engineering, privacy enhancing technologies and optimization systems. Her recent research focuses on paradigmatic changes in software engineering practices with the shift from shrink-wrap software to services and agile programming.

Barry Lynn is author of Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction (Wiley 2010) and End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation (Doubleday 2005). He writes on the political and economic effects of the extreme consolidation of power in the United States have influenced the thinking of policymakers and antitrust professionals on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bev Skeggs is one of the foremost feminist sociologists in the world. Her book Formations of Class and Gender (1997) has been profoundly significant in drawing attention to the intersections between class and gender inequality, as experienced by working class young women dealing with the vulnerabilities of daily life in harsh conditions. @bevskeggs

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #SmartchoicesAI

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