Brainstorming at the AI & Democracy CIFAR Workshop at Microsoft Research Montreal

I was invited to participate in the 'AI Powered Information Ecosystems & Democracy' workshop held at the Microsoft Research Lab in Montreal and sponsored by CIFAR

The premise of this workshop was to engage a "diverse groups of researchers from academia and industry with practitioners and civil society representatives, to encourage collaborations between those involved in the research and development of computations tools with those with focused expertise in policy, journalism, civil rights, and democratic values."

The basis of this workshop was to outline all the opportunities and challenges that AI-powered information ecosystems (like social media, search engines, or content-sharing platforms) have brought upon in recent years and in particular to the strengthening of our democratic institutions around the world.

It was an intense workshop where we worked in core groups on topics such as communities, elections, misinformation, and regulation and when in there, we wrote up proposals that pushed us to outline the problems in each segment, the stakeholders, their roles and responsibilities, creative initiatives, and more. It felt like I was back in school but with some damn smart pupils.

I learnt a lot and also was confronted by a number of different approaches and worldviews, that is humbling as if we as a collective can recognize ongoing tensions among ourselves in how to approach these issues, then indeed this will take far more than just a workshop. But this is still an amazing start.



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