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James Muldoon (University of Essex): Artificial Intelligence in the Colonial Matrix of Power

17 October 2023, 2:00 pm3:30 pm

Abstract: This paper theorises how a system of coloniality underpins the structuring logic of artificial intelligence systems. Drawing on the analytic of the ‘colonial matrix of power’ developed by Aníbal Quijano and the Latin American modernity/coloniality research program, the paper develops a framework for critiquing the regimes of global labour exploitation and knowledge extraction that are rendered invisible through discourses of the purported universality and objectivity of AI. There are three main parts to this argument. First, the global economic and political power imbalances in AI production are inextricably linked to the continuities of historical colonialism, constituting the colonial supply chain of AI. Second, this is produced through an international division of digital labour that extracts value from majority world labour for the benefit of Western technology companies. Third, this perpetuates hegemonic knowledge production through Western values and knowledge that marginalises non-Western alternatives within AI’s production and limits the possibilities for decolonising AI.

James Muldoon is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Management at the Essex Business School, a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute and Head of Digital Research at the Autonomy think tank.

This event will take place in person on LSE’s campus. However, those unable to attend in person will have the option of taking part online.

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Please note that these events are routinely recorded, with the edited footage being made publicly available on our website and YouTube channel. We will only record the audio, the slides and the speaker and will not include the Q&A section. However, any question asked during the talk itself will feature in the final edit.


17 October 2023
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Event Category:


Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method


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Lakatos Building
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