Symposium in New York City: Critical Stances towards AI
As part of the jubilee year W\100, the symposium “Critical Stances towards AI: For a Critical and Self-Determined Approach to Digital Technology” will take place in September at Deutsches Haus at NYU.
Joseph Weizenbaum, the namesake of our institute, would have turned 100 this year. On this very occasion we are traveling to his Country of adoption to honor his memory by discussing themes with which he was deeply engaged and thus promote the transatlantic discourse on Weizenbaum and his work. The symposium is hosted by the Weizenbaum Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, Deutsches Haus at NYU and Technische Universität Berlin.
Over two days, researchers from the Weizenbaum Institute and from different North American Institutions intend to address questions concerning the role of humans in AI, the role algorithmic platforms play for information in digital societies as well as an analysis of hypergiants in the internet ecosystem. Together with the audience, we will debate the issue of AI development and usage from both social and environmental perspectives.
Thursday, September 28, 2023
|12.00 - 12.30||Arrival and Registration|
|12.30 - 13.00|| |
Welcome and Introduction
Juliane Wilhelm, Technische Universität Berlin
13.00 - 14.30
Panel 1: Algorithmic platforms and information quality
Topic: This panel approaches the role algorithmic platforms like social media and messenger services have for the spread of verified and unverified information in digital societies.
Felicia Loecherbach, New York University
Jeff Allen, Integrity InstituteJakob Ohme, Weizenbaum Institute
|14.30 - 15.00||Coffee break|
15.00 - 16.30
Panel 2: Platforms, Ecosystems, and Our Digital Future – Regulatory Policies for the Digital Economy
Topic: In this session, we explore the complex terrain of policy challenges that arise as we navigate our way towards a digital future. By adopting an economic viewpoint, we delve into the roles of hypergiant corporations, their platforms, and ecosystems within the digital economy. We engage in a comprehensive discussion about their effects on competition and innovation, while considering the pertinent implications for regulatory policy measures and the efforts taken in the US and the EU.
|16.30 - 17.00||Coffee Break|
17.00 - 18.30
Keynote: Towards a Techno-Feminist Refusal by Sarah Sharma, University of Toronto
|18.30 - 19.00||Transfer to Restaurant|
|19.00 - 23.00||Dinner|
Friday, September 29, 2023
|08.30 - 09.00||Arrival and Registration|
|09.00 - 10.00|| |
Panel 3: Joseph Weizenbaum: Past and Present of Critical Thinking on AI
Topic: In the year that Joseph Weizenbaum would have turned 100, a number of scholars have joined forces to examine his professional life as a scientist and public intellectual, his work, and his intellectual environments. Christian Strippel and Magnus Rust will provide insights into the archival work and present initial findings, loose ends, and open questions of that research. Since then, the development and proliferation of artificial neural network algorithms has multiplied many times, and has become embedded in a wide range of technologies. Hannah Fitsch and Alexandra Keiner will re-examine Weizenbaum's Critique of Instrumental Reason and highlight what kind of decisions can be made by AI and what epistemological premises are embedded in them.
Magnus Rust, University of Basel
Hannah Fitsch, TU Berlin
Alexandra Keiner, Weizenbaum Institute
10.00 - 11.30
Panel 4: "Certainly no computer can be made to confront genuine human problems in human terms" (J. Weizenbaum, Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation, 1976)
Dave Rejeski, Environmental Law Institute
Caroline Woolard, Open Collective
|11.30 - 12.00||Coffee break|
12.00 - 13.30
Panel 5: The labor that fuels AI
This fireside chat delves into the pivotal role of human workers within the AI industry, shedding light on the multifaceted landscape of data work. We'll explore the labor-intensive tasks underpinning AI, from data generation and labeling to the lesser-known practice of human workers impersonating AI systems. We will discuss labor conditions and their effects on datasets and systems. The chat will also address the vital role of requesters and data experts, shifting the focus to address our own responsibility as researchers. Additionally, we'll explore the impact of data work on workers and the cost dynamics of digital platforms advertising data work. Finally, we'll discuss strategies to counteract precarious labor conditions in data work, offering actionable insights for individuals and organizations.
Milagros Miceli, Weizenbaum Institute
Julian Posada, Yale University
Adriana Alvarado, IBM Research
|13.30 - 15.00||Wrap-up, Farewell, and Lunch|
15.00 - 18.00
City tour: Jewish life in New York, with focus on the German-Jewish emigration to the USA in the years 1933-1945