Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related technologies have started to shape important parts of the digital economy and affect core areas of our increasingly networked societies. Whether transportation or manufacturing, social justice or health and education, AI has the potential to deeply impact our lives and shape our individual and collective futures in ways both visible and hidden. The promise of AI-based technologies is enormous, and benefits range from efficiency gains to unprecedented improvements of quality of life. The challenges and potential risks are equally staggering, for instance when considering the uncertainty regarding the future of labor or the emergence of new power structures outside the control of existing governance and accountability frameworks. More specifically, the uneven access to and impact of AI and related technologies on often marginalized populations, which include urban and rural poor communities, women, youth, LGBTQ, ethnic and racial groups, people with disabilities – and particularly those at the intersection of these marginalized groups – contribute to the disturbing risk of amplifying digital inequalities across the world.

The Global Network of Internet & Society Centers (NoC) will convene invited guests and collaborators from around the world across a range of representatives from advocacy, philanthropy, media, policy, and industry to address both the opportunities and challenges of AI-based technologies through the lens of inclusion, broadly conceived. The event, which will take place on November 8-10, 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, will identify, explore, and address the opportunities and challenges of AI as we seek to build a better, more inclusive, and diverse world together. It is co-organized on behalf of the NoC by the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro (ITS Rio) and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University with the support of the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in collaboration with the Museum of Tomorrow. Five years after an inaugural symposium focused on structural changes and tipping points of Internet-driven developments, the symposium on “AI & Inclusion” will also serve to reify  the growing global community of almost 80 NoC Centers.

At its core, the symposium seeks to identify, map, understand, and address the manifold issues around AI and Inclusion from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a particular focus on dimensions of inclusion. A complex set of issues exists concerning the geographic divide between the Global North and the Global South when it comes to the development, design, and application of AI-based technologies, and the symposium will explore these topics and issues from the perspective of different actors and by looking at a set of thematic core areas, including deep dives into areas such as health and wellbeing, education, and humanitarian crisis mitigation as well as cross-cutting themes such as data and infrastructure, law and governance, and algorithms and design, among others. The goals of the event are to deepen our shared understanding of challenges and opportunities related to AI and inclusion, identify and discuss areas for research, education or action, and inform and incubate new projects and other collaborative efforts among the NoC participants and collaborators.

The event will be highly interactive and participatory. The organizers are committed to offering a variety of venues and formats in which knowledge and experiences can be shared, also acknowledging cultural differences and preferences in terms of modes of engagement.

For questions related to the Symposium, you can reach Celina Beatriz (ITS Rio) or Jenna Sherman (Berkman Klein Center) by emailing inclusionsymposium@eon.law.harvard.edu.

Please note that we are at full capacity for the event.We will be hosting a public event on the evening of November 9th at the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio, and welcome you to attend in person or join us online. For more information on the public event and to register your attendance, please visit https://museudoamanha.org.br/pt-br/simposio-global-inteligencia-artificial-e-inclusao-a-vida-no-futuro.

For questions related to the Symposium, you can reach Celina Beatriz (ITS Rio) or Jenna Sherman (Berkman Klein Center) by emailing inclusionsymposium@eon.law.harvard.edu.