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JUST AI Visiting Fellowship

AHRC-funded Visiting Fellowship – up to £10,000 for projects addressing racial justice and AI ethics

On Monday 10 August 2020, the Ada Lovelace Institute’s JUST AI Network announced the launch of a new £40,000 fund, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and a call for proposals for at least four projects that will contribute to locating and filling gaps in ethical thinking about data and AI with respect to racial justice.

The call for proposals inspired 98 proposals for projects from academic and policy researchers, and creative practitioners. As so many extraordinary applications were received, the JUST AI network will be making efforts to connect with and engage as many researchers and practitioners as possible. The Commissioning Board, composed of a diverse group of members with experience in academia, industry and the arts, met to review the quality of the applications and the potential impact of applicants’ work during the course of their six-month fellowship.

The awarded fellows were chosen for the synergies between the projects and the capacity this builds for interdisciplinary work in this area. On Monday 12 October 2020, we were delighted to announce the four Fellows and their projects.

Meet the Fellows

Yasmine Boudiaf (creative technologist and researcher). Yasmine’s project proposes a radical ethical data practice framework. The output will be a constantly evolving collaborative online space – a ‘Living Document’ – that comes out of a collaboration between groups of people who have resisted traditional extractive practices, and which they can continue to contribute to.

Dr Irene Fubara-Manuel

Dr Irene Fubara-Manuel (researcher and creative practitioner). Irene’s project proposes ethnographic and participatory action research to explore possibilities for decolonial and anti-racist alternatives to migration algorithms. The project aims to move the focus of streaming tools, used in applying for UK visas, away from automating a ‘hostile environment’ and towards reimagining a fair and welcoming UK for all migrants, irrespective of background.

squirrelnation caroline erinmaDr Erinma Ochu (Black and queer neuroscientist, filmmaker and curator) and Caroline Ward (deaf and queer artist, designer and researcher), collectively Squirrel Nation, propose a project that will be a re-enactment of the 1956 Dartmouth AI study. This creative project will comprise of a decolonising AI reading group and gatherings in which key texts and concepts are read aloud collectively, discussed, recorded and creatively edited into a ceremonial, multimedia piece.

Sarah Devi Chander (racial justice and digital rights policy). Sarah’s project will synthesise the policy development strand of the Fellowship and will delineate the most pervasive issues in UK data and AI policy in relation to racial justice.

About the Fellowship

Fellows will be supported in designing and delivering a research or creative project between October 2020 and April 2021, and will gain affiliation with the Ada Lovelace Institute for the duration of the Fellowship, including opportunities to contribute to and participate to the work of the Institute.

During the Fellowship, they will benefit from structured participation with JUST AI (including participation in weekly lab meetings, peer and expert support, and opportunities for research collaboration). At the end of the Fellowship, the Fellows will have the opportunity to showcase their work and shape the field through participation in a symposium supported by the JUST AI Network, planned for May 2021. The work of the Fellows will be synthesised into a public-facing policy report highlighting how their work addresses issues in racial justice, and data and AI ethics.

The network will also be convening a number of working groups on specific issues relating to racial justice and AI ethics, and is working with the Ada Lovelace Institute to create effective ways to involve scholars and practitioners in the development of the network.

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