Co-Opting AI: China

10/19 Monday | 5pm

Please watch the event here.

This event is a live discussion that will be live-streamed on Youtube and Twitter. Guests can pose questions via Twitter.

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, NYU Tandon’s Department for Technology, Culture and Society and the 370 Jay Project invite you to a discussion on finance in the series “Co-Opting AI.

China has played a major role in pushing the narrative of AI supremacy. The country’s strong focus on AI innovation and deployment has large-scale impacts on the global funding patterns and the politics of knowledge production: AI is now central to how we imagine our socio-technical future. It also has become the arena for global competition and the negotiation of power. The event will feature Silvia Lindtner, Shazeda Ahmed, and Graham Webster. The distinguished panel will examine China’s role in the so-called AI (arms) race, Chinese approaches to technology innovation, cybersecurity in China, as well as China’s digital policy developments.

Shazeda Ahmed is a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information. She is currently a pre-doctoral fellow at two Stanford University research centers, the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and the Center for International Security and Cooperation. Shazeda has worked as a researcher for Upturn, the Mercator Institute for China Studies, Ranking Digital Rights, and the Citizen Lab. From 2018 – 2019, she was a Fulbright fellow at Peking University’s Law School in Beijing, where she conducted field research on how tech firms and the Chinese government are collaborating on the country’s social credit system.

Silvia Lindtner (she/her) is Associate Professor at the University of Michigan in the School of Information and Associate Director of the Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing (ESC). Lindtner’s research interests include cultures and politics of technology production in relation to past and ongoing shifts in work, labor, geopolitics, and governance. Lindtner draws from more than ten years of multi-sited ethnographic research, with a particular focus on China’s place in the political economy of tech innovation. She is the author of Prototype Nation: China and the Contested Promise of Innovation (Princeton University Press, 2020). The book reveals how a growing distrust in Western models of progress and development, including Silicon Valley and the tech industry after the financial crisis of 2007–8, shaped the vision of China as a “new frontier” of innovation. Lindtner unpacks how this promise of entrepreneurial life has influenced governance, education, policy, investment, and urban redesign in ways that normalize the persistence of sexism, racism, colonialism, and labor exploitation. Lindtner’s work contributes to the fields of STS (science and technology studies), cultural and feminist anthropology, China studies, critical computing, global communication studies, science and technology policy, and design. Her research has been awarded support from the US National Science Foundation, IMLS, Intel Labs, Google Anita Borg, and the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation. Her work has appeared at ACM SIGCHI, ACM CSCW, ST&HV, ESTS, SocialText, Women’s Studies Quarterly, China Information, and other venues.

Graham Webster is a research scholar and editor of the DigiChina project at the Stanford University Cyber Policy Center and a fellow with New America. A joint effort of Stanford and New America, DigiChina is a collaborative project to translate, contextualize, and analyze Chinese digital policy documents and discourse. He was previously a senior fellow and lecturer at Yale Law School, where he was responsible for the Paul Tsai China Center’s U.S.–China Track 2 dialogues for five years before leading programming on cyberspace and high-tech issues. In the past, he wrote a CNET News blog on technology and society from Beijing, worked at the Center for American Progress, and taught East Asian politics at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. Graham holds a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He is based in Oakland, California.

Mona Sloane is a sociologist working on inequality in the context of AI design and policy.  She frequently publishes and speaks about AI, ethics, equitability and policy in a global context. Mona is a Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK), a Fellow with NYU’s Alliance for Public Interest Technology and a Future Imagination Collaboratory (FIC) Fellow at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She also works with The GovLab in New York and teaches at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. At IPK, Mona founded and convenes the ‘Co-Opting AI’ series. She also curates the Technology Section for Public Books. Mona holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science and has completed fellowships at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Cape Town. Follow her on Twitter: @mona_sloane.

The Co-Opting AI event series is convened by Mona Sloane. They are hosted at IPK and co-sponsored by the 370 Jay Project and the NYU Tandon Department of Technology, Culture, and Society.

Photo credits: Copyright © 2019, All rights reserved MIT Technology Review; www.technologyreview.com

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