Tereza Kuldova - Researcher II at Oslo Metropolitan University
Speech: Algorithmic Governance and the Question of Trust
Worldwide, law enforcement and border agencies are experimenting with intelligent surveillance technologies and predictive policing tools that utilize different forms of artificial intelligence (AI). Governments use algorithmic risk-assessments to analyze their citizens and to make decisions about anything from benefit claims to deployment of social workers based on the citizen’s ‘vulnerability profile’. Companies use software such as HireVue to predict future job performance of potential hires. Artificial intelligence embodies the promise of efficiency, objectivity, and the neutrality of ‘hard data.’ But while advances in machine learning can revolutionize certain areas and create positive impacts, we know that even carefully designed, transparent, and explicable algorithms are only as good as the data they process. Citizens are mobilizing to challenge opaque predictive policing systems that disproportionally target those already marginalized, adding new layers of injustice and harm; they question their accountability, legitimacy and trustworthiness. Academics speak of ‘the New Jim Code’, ‘algorithms of oppression’ and ‘weapons of math destruction’. The question is not merely one of ‘bias’, but one of reinforcement of structural harms and injustices, of social sorting, liquid surveillance and exclusion. Lack of accountability and transparency combined with new forms of harms associated with algorithmic decision making will undeniably impact levels of trust and perceptions of legitimacy of governments, corporations and businesses. Grounded in extensive research on the rise and logic of anti-establishment resentment, the presentation will think through the potentially explosive combination of populism and decreasing political legitimacy in the context of the rise of algorithmic governance.
Tereza Kuldova, PhD is a social anthropologist and Senior Researcher at the Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University. She is an author and has written extensively on topics ranging from populism, organized crime, nationalism, philanthrocapitalism, legitimacy, risk, sovereignty, fashion, design, aesthetics, branding, intellectual property rights, philanthropy, India, to outlaw motorcycle clubs, subcultures, and anti-establishment resentment. She is currently working on the topics of algorithmic governance, surveillance, and artificial intelligence in policing and the welfare state. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Extreme Anthropology, as well as of the Extreme Anthropology Research Network and of the Algorithmic Governance: Research Network. For more information, please visit: www.tereza-kuldova.com.