The Anthropology + Technology conference brings together pioneering technologists and social scientists from across the globe. Its aim is to facilitate dialogue on emerging technology projects in order to help businesses benefit from more socially-responsible AI.
Over the last few years, both academics and the media have documented the negative effects of automated decision-making (AI) in areas such as policing, finance, credit reporting, and administration of public programmes.
Today, these issues are still prevalent. As AI becomes more widely adopted, pioneering leaders are realising the importance of assessing the impact of technology on both their businesses and society as a whole.
AI can provide unparalleled opportunities but without the correct processes, it can also have a detrimental impact on people’s futures and a business’s reputation.
As such, the need for an ethical framework and the perspective of anthropologists has never been more critical.
“The social sciences might help us understand the promises and risks of our new situation.”
Prof. Joanna Bryson,
University of Bath
Anthropologists can add value to technology projects by helping technologists understand:
- how their technology can align and integrate with human workers — what aspects can be automated and what needs to be done by humans. In other words, how humans and machines can work together successfully rather than in opposition to each other.
- the socio-cultural context in which their technologies are being designed to help them successfully design products for the many, not just the few.