Humanities Tech KTH Session

The day after the inaugural Digital Humanities Stockholm event, Humanities Tech KTH held an event that included three sessions: AI for Survival, Feminist in a Software Lab, and Analyzing Hate Platforms, Fighting Hate Crimes.

Nishant Shah, ArtEZ University of the Arts, spoke about “extinction impulse” and how it manifests in how we design-think problems, how we conceptualise our users, how we buy into the promise of A.I. and how we imagine that the answer to our A.I. concerns is going to be more A.I. He outlined myths about A.I. that we’ve taken as natural and showed how a feminist and person-of-colour critique of these myths, and the alternatives they provide might offer us a more hopeful, inclusive and a humane way of building worlds that are made for survival.

Tara McPherson, University of Southern California, started “Feminist in a Software Lab” off by talking about her 2018 book Feminist in a Software Lab: Difference + Design, her work on creating multimedia platforms for digital scholarship, and more generally, her experience from working at the intersection of technology, media and the human and the humanities, and innovating at a university invested in media and technology.

Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard, KTH,  is an interaction designer and researcher. She explores critical-feminist design of intimate technologies and she presented her prototypes and work focusing on women’s health and speculative design.

Nishant Shah, Dean of the Graduate School at the ArtEZ University of the Arts, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University, Jenny Sundén, Professor of Gender Studies, Södertörn University, Anna Wahl, Professor in Gender, organization and management and Vice President, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Celina Zander, Student, Civil Engineering Program in Media Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology also addressed questions like how do we best tackle difference in design work? Can software be feminist? What are the most productive intersections between the humanities and technology? What kinds of infrastructure and systems should we build for a better society? What are the opportunities and challenges at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology?

“Analyzing Hate Platforms, Fighting Hate Crimes” focused on platforms for online hate and fighting online crimes. It started with an introduction to the topic and a long dialogue between Tara McPherson, professor at University of Southern California, and Kenneth Bodin, CEO of Algoryx Simulation.

The dialogue extended into a conversation with a panel of invited guests: Daniela Agostinho, a visual and cultural theorist at the University of Copenhagen, Raazesh Sainudiin, Associate Professor of Mathematics with specialisation in Data Science, Uppsala University, and Nishant Shah, Dean of the Graduate School at the ArtEZ University of the Arts, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University.

As hoped, each individual session informed the next and resulted in a day of critical and constructive engagement with socio-technological systems.

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