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Dr Alison Powell is the Director of the JUST AI network. She is Associate  Professor in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics where she established the MSc program stream in Data & Society.

Her research examines how people’s values influence the way technology is built, and how ethics in practice unfolds in technology design contexts. Alison experiments with participatory and public engagement methods to investigate how we generate knowledge about technology, citizenship, and our futures. Her previous projects include the Horizon 2020-funded VIRT-EU, which examined ways to develop ethics in practice among Internet of Things developer communities, and Understanding Automated Decisions, which considered the possibility and consequences of explaining how algorithms work using design methods and an interactive public exhibition. Alison’s work integrates creative and practice-based methods with social scientific approaches from both quantitative and qualitative traditions to uncover new spaces for ethical practice.

Her book Undoing Optimization: Civic Action and Smart Cities will be published in early 2021 by Yale University Press. Alison also shares her insights about how people make knowledge about the city through ‘data walking’ – see – and her public writing at

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JUST AI is an independent network of researchers and practitioners committed to understanding the social and ethical value of data and AI