What we're about

This group has been formed following the inaugural Anthropology + Technology Conference, held at the Watershed on 3 October 2019, which brought together social scientists and technologists to discuss socially-responsible AI. The aim of this group is to continue the conversations started at the conference around interdisciplinary collaboration on emerging technology, particularly artificial intelligence. It will be of interest to anyone who wants to engage in the critical conversations around this "fourth industrial revolution".

Upcoming events (2)

Snake oil and sexism: how do we fix conversational AI?

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer


Why is there so much snake oil in Conversational AI? How do we create digital assistants that don't encode gender biases and reinforce stereotypes? How do we teach machines to talk in a way that isn't biased or discriminatory? This month we have three amazing speakers - Phil D. Hall, Coral Manton, and Kerry Harrison - to explore, unpack, and discuss these important questions. *** Please note there is a small charge of £3 to cover the room hire costs. TALK DESCRIPTIONS *Why is there so much snake oil in Conversational AI?* Phil will unpack a problem that we have in our digital world right now, which can be summed up as: Why is so much snake oil in Conversational A.I.? Phil will take a run at what the relevant snakes are from an AnthTech perspective. *Women Reclaiming AI* Coral Manton will be presenting Women Reclaiming AI (WRAI). WRAI is a collaborative AI voice assistant and activist artwork made by a growing community of 100+ women (cis & trans). Co-founded by artist technologists Coral Manton and Birgitte Aga, the project creates a platform for collective writing and editing, developing an AI that challenges gender roles. *Writing for machines* Today, an increasing number of organisations are using voice assistants, chatbots and automated services to help grow their business. In fact, this kind of technology is now informing, educating, supporting – and even advising us. As a result, the way we teach machines to talk is becoming massively important. In her presentation, Kerry Harrison, a creative technologist and conversation designer, will discuss the key considerations when writing for machines. How do you make your chatbots/voice assistants relatable? How can machines and humans have beneficial two-way conversations? And how do you avoid building in bias along the way? AGENDA 18:00 Arrive, grab a drink and a seat 18:30 Talks 19:15 Q&A with Coral, Kerry, and Phil 20:00 Networking 20:30 Finish SPEAKER BIOS // Phil D Hall // Phil D Hall has been building conversational A.I. since 1982 and with the conceptual, practical and pragmatic training received from an Anthropology degree at UCL in the late 1990’s he has, let’s say, an unusual view of Artificial Intelligence and the impact that it has on us socially, economically and culturally. // Coral Manton // The work of artist-technologist duo Birgitte Aga and Coral Manton manifests as collaborative workshops, events and installations aimed at (re)claiming conversational artificial intelligence (AI) systems as a medium for protest. It critiques the commercial pursuit of humanising AI technologies and challenges the bias, stereotyping and pervasive influence embedded within. By activating the public, Aga and Manton re-write and re-imagine the cultural myths of AI and robotics, creating futures mediated by alternative technology. // Kerry Harrison, Co-Founder of Tiny Giant // Kerry is an award-winning advertising creative who specialises in using artificial intelligence to augment the creative process and inspire new ways to tackle marketing problems. In 2018, after 18 years as an advertising copywriter and creative head, she co-founded Tiny Giant to help pioneering businesses harness the power of creative AI. She’s the host of martech podcast Tiny Giant Jams, a university guest lecturer, and the co-organiser of I’ll Be Back South West – the monthly meet-up exploring the intersection between A.I, creativity and advertising. Over the last year, Kerry and the Tiny Giant team have worked with brands including BMW, Deloitte, Nestle, Ralph Lauren and Bacardi. In 2019, they also won a prestigious DMA Gold award in the Best use of AI category for their work with the Cheltenham Science Festival.

Women Reclaiming AI: Workshop

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer

The Anthropology + Technology Meetup group is delighted to be hosting the Women Reclaiming AI (WRAI) collective for a special, free event. ** Please note this event is for self-identifying women (trans, cis and nonbinary) only. The Women Reclaiming AI collective invite you to take part in designing an alternative AI Voice Assistant created by a growing community of women. // About WRAI // Woman Reclaiming AI (WRAI) is an expanding activist art-work, presented as a feminist AI voice assistant, programmed through participatory workshops by a growing community of self-identifying women (trans, cis and nonbinary). Through creating a platform for collective writing and editing the project co-creates an AI that challenges gender roles. The project is a response to the pervasive depiction of AI voice assistants gendered as women, subordinate and serving, designed by development teams which lack diversity. WRAI aims to reclaim female voices in the development of future AI systems by empowering women to harness conversational AI as a medium for protest. This project is created by artists-technologists Coral Manton and Birgitte Aga in collaboration with an ever evolving community of self-identifying women. https://womenreclaimingai.com // About the workshop // This workshop aims to create an AI personality that better reflects female identity, using a corpus of inspirational speeches from people taking part and other women admired by the WRAI collective. It will provide participants with basic skills to create an AI voice assistant or chatbot in a development platform for conversational systems and a space to facilitate talking, sharing and listening. No previous experience of coding is required but participants are asked to bring a laptop if they have access to one. The workshop is free but places are limited. The room hire for this workshop is kindly sponsored by Mundy & Anson (https://www.mundyandanson.co.uk/), who are the founders and organisers of the Anthropology + Technology conference (https://www.anthtechconf.co.uk/). // Agenda // 18:00 - 18:30 - Arrive, grab a drink and a seat 18:30 - 20:30 - Women Reclaiming AI Workshop // What to bring // No previous experience of coding is required but participants are asked to bring a laptop if they have access to one. The workshop is free but places are limited.

Past events (3)

Fireside chat with Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer

Photos (9)