social, ethical and legal issues in computing lecture series

Past Events

Refusing AI Contact: Autism, Algorithms and the Dangers of ‘Technopsyence’

Sep 12, 2022

Os Keyes

Os Keyes is a PhD Candidate at the University of Washington’s Department of Human-Centered Design & Engineering. An inaugural Ada Lovelace Fellow, their work focuses on bringing together both the sociology and philosophy of technoscience to examine the interplay of gender, disability, technology and power. Current projects focus on the framing and co-relations between autistic people and artificial intelligence, and the ways trans people are the subject of, and subject to, scientific research.

The Automation of Everything

Sep 19, 2022

David Murakami Wood

Beginning with factory work and the introduction of the production line, this presentation examines how automation within capitalism has progressed from the workplace through to the liminal spaces between work and not-work towards the full automation of the social. It draws on work from fields as diverse as Political Economy, Surveillance Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Geography and Environmental Studies to trace the implications of automation for work and life in the era of platform capitalism.

Understanding Conflicts of Interest in Ethics of AI Research

Oct 3, 2022

Mohamed Abdalla

As more governmental bodies look to regulate the application of AI, it is important that the incentives of those consulted be clearly understood and taken into account. This talk will explore the role of industry funding on AI research and the incentives such funding creates. To do this, we will: i) discuss how conflicts of interest are treated in other fields of academia, ii) quantify financial relationships between researchers and industry, and iii) discuss how young professionals and future researchers should approach the issue of corporate funding. 

Computing and Global Development: A Critical Perspective

Oct 17, 2022

Ishtiaque Ahmed

Ishtiaque Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He directs the Third Space research group at the DGP Lab. He is also a graduate faculty member of the School of Environment, a Faculty Fellow at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, and a Senior Fellow at the Massey College.

His research interest is situated at the intersection of computer science and the critical social sciences. His work is often motivated by social justice and sustainability issues, and he puts them in the academic contexts of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information and Communication Technology and Development (ICTD). He operates through a wide range of technical and methodological apparatuses from ethnography to design, and from NLP to tangible user interface.  

Darwin’s Animoji: Histories of Racialization in Facial Analyses Past and Present

Oct 31, 2022

Luke Stark

Luke Stark is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. His work interrogates the historical, social, and ethical impacts of computing and artificial intelligence technologies, particularly those mediating social and emotional expression. His scholarship highlights the asymmetries of power, access and justice that are emerging as these systems are deployed in the world, and the social and political challenges that technologists, policymakers, and the wider public face as a result.

Luke has previously been a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics (FATE) Group at Microsoft Research in Montreal, QC; a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Dartmouth College, a Fellow and Affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and an inaugural Fellow with the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Technology, Society, and Policy. He completed his PhD in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University in 2016 under the supervision of Helen Nissenbaum, and holds an Honours BA and MA in History from the University of Toronto. 

What Software Eats: The Banal Violences of Efficiency and How to Bite Back

Nov 14, 2022

Bianca Wylie

Bianca is a writer with a dual background in technology and public engagement. She is a partner at Digital Public and a co-founder of Tech Reset Canada. She worked for several years in the tech sector in operations, infrastructure, corporate training, and product management. Then, as a professional facilitator, she spent several years co-designing, delivering and supporting public consultation processes for various governments and government agencies. She founded the Open Data Institute Toronto in 2014 and co-founded Civic Tech Toronto in 2015.

Bianca’s writing has been published in a range of publications including: Boston Review, VICE, The Globe and Mail, and Toronto Life. She also posts on Medium. She is currently a member of the advisory boards for the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC), The Computational Democracy Project and the Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab and is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Algorithm

Nov 21, 2022

Sofie Vlaad

Sofie’s research is firmly rooted in both feminist philosophy and transgender studies. These twin schools of thought inform her work in ways that are both explicit and implicit. Her current project brings together ethics of artificial intelligence, philosophy of creativity, and digital poetics to explore a series of related questions: Might we consider poetry constructed with the assistance of machine learning to be a product of creativity? If so, how is this form of creativity shaped by algorithmic bias? Does computer generated poetry have aesthetic value?

Currently Sofie is working on an article that posits trans poetics as a way of doing trans philosophy, a co-authored piece exploring how we might epistemically ground diversity projects in AI, and a collaborative arts project exploring queer/mad/trans/femme futures.