Showing posts with label Berlin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berlin. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Talk at the iconic Volksbühne theatre on AI for the common good

On May 6th, I will be heading to Berlin to help launch the School of Disobedience initiative and fittingly it will be at Berlin's most iconic theatre - Volksbühne, home to art and activism in Germany for over a century. The event will feature a conversation with Lorena Jaume-Palasí , the founder of The Ethical Tech Society, a non-profit focused on the social impact of technology and Advisory Council member of AI for the Spanish government. 

We will be speaking about AI for the common good. I will be giving a talk before hand on the Next Billion Users, drawing from my new book on how this population will push us to rethink what constitutes as "good" practice in AI futures. Currently, artificial intelligence delivers lots of material for projections about the future of societies. It seems to disrupt our concept of space, time and borders. Predominant is the view that AI will become or even is already a tool to create dystopias of oppression. However, this is only the view of a few, albeit famous, scholars and intellectuals. But what about those who are supposed to be oppressed? Do they play an active role in the conversation? How is their perception of artificial intelligence and datafication? And what are their visions? 

I will be debunking many of these dominant discourses of pessimism and determinism of AI futures by taking on a more bottom up and cultural approach to this topic.

The School of Disobedience is an experimental format to test new ways of independent knowledge production in the 21st century. The inspiration is the spirit of Berlin, the city as an image for this time and this world, heterogeneous, international and politicized. The goal of the School of Disobedience is to concentrate this potential of the city and put it to use for working on a common future. The combination of humanistic and technological perspectives should help to support specific projects which are based on a progressive view of society and will further our sense of justice. This was launched in fall 2018 and continuing into 2019, the School of Disobedience will work in the Grünen Salon with a set of events to test formats and content of the para-academic practice. There will be seminars open for anybody interested in the connection of academic and activist thinking and working, a lab for technologists and theoreticians, a makerspace for people with experiences in different areas, from law to coding, from NGO to academia. Each month, a different academic expert leads a seminar on his or her research and invites people of all ages, professions and experience to join as its students. There will also be monthly public evening events in the evenings, which will allow the general audience an insight into that month’s 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Talk at Humboldt Berlin on Tech, Law and Access to Justice


On 28th and 29th of November 2018, I participated and spoke at a workshop titled  “The Future of Law: Technology, Innovation and Access to Justice” at the Humboldt University of Berlin.  The workshop was organised by the Chair for  Public Law and Comparative Law, Humboldt University of Berlin and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung for Freedom. My talk was titled, "Above the law and below poverty: Databased obfuscations, activism and publicity from the global South." My talk argues that contrary to seeking to be protected through anonymity as the bulk of the current research alludes to, some of those at the margins may choose to put themselves at high risk by being visible and heard. The GDPR, rooted in the Western ideology of individual choice and rights, may have created a privacy universalism, begging the question of whether privacy is a privilege and a luxury. This talk draws from a decade of fieldwork and activism among vulnerable communities beyond the West to grapple with the question of whether privacy and activism are after all compatible.

Access to justice is understood as the ability for people to address their everyday legal problems, either through recourse to courts or other forums. It is estimated that globally, around 4 billion people live outside the reach of the law, and do not have the security, opportunity or protection to redress their grievances and injustices. Challenges of access to justice can manifest in multiple ways, these can include where courts and legal institutions are out of reach of litigants for reasons of costs, distance or even a lack of knowledge of rights and entitlements. It can also be caused because many judicial institutions are under-funded and as a result, there is poor infrastructure, inadequate staff and limited resources to meet the needs and demands of litigants who require such services. In many instances the text of law itself is riddled with complexities and that makes it difficult for it to be understood and used effectively. Access to justice  is therefore an expansive concept that has symbolic, financial, informational and structural implications for fights against poverty, inequality, violence and a lack of development. This significance has been recognized in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that see access to justice as a key driver for building peaceful and inclusive societies.

A key focus of this conference is to understand how technology, seen as a disruptor in several industries and economies, can leverage innovation to introduce solutions to some of the most intractable justice sector problems. The German government, particularly through its Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has also identified the vast potential of digitalization and specifically targets the promotion of human rights and political participation in its recently published “Digital Agenda”. The conference aims to bring together leading lawyers, judges, academics, activists, technologists and researchers to discuss ways in which advances in technology, can bring greater access, efficiency and effectiveness to justice sector reform.