KT4D hosts successful first workshop on Re-Imagining Ethical AI

16 November 2023

The Knowledge Technologies for Democracy (KT4D) project is investigating how democracy and civic participation can be better facilitated in the face of rapidly changing knowledge technologies – such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data – to enable actors across society to capitalise on the many benefits these technologies can bring in terms of community empowerment, social integration, individual agency, and improved trust in both institutions and technological instruments while identifying and mitigating potential ethical, legal and cultural risks.

By placing cultural studies and humanities at the core of the project we are aiming to build a common ground between the values of participatory democracy and software design. With this approach, the project will develop and validate tools, guidelines and a Digital Democracy Lab Demonstrators platform. These results will then be validated across three user needs scenarios in four different European Cities. 

KT4D’s Dublin Use Case is designed to interact with software developers working in the field of AI and big data in industry and academia over three workshops and the specific goal for the first meeting of the first co-creation workshop, Re-Imagining Ethical AI, was to invite a group of software developers and people in positions of overseeing software development (such as industry CTOs and investment firms and agencies) to explore the limits of current approaches to ethical AI development and to envision new, more effective ones that could take into consideration the cultural dimension of these software and systems. Participants engaged in discussion around the central themes of:

  • The challenges of ethical software development – What are the professional / social / ethical challenges with ethical software development?
  • Tools for ethical software development – What kinds of supports do you rely on to help you maintain the ethical dimension in your work?
  • Cultural issues / challenges with ethical software development – How well prepared do you feel to consider the identities and cultures of people who may use your tools?

Participants were then  tasked with re-imagining ethical software design in a co-creation session. The input received was extremely helpful in framing an advanced understanding of where the real gaps in ethical AI in the context of democratic processes and civic participation may lie, and will contribute to the framing of the development of the Cultural AI compass that KT4D will further develop.

Photos from the event: