The Symposium on “Social Justice and Technological Futures” took place on 2-3 May 2023 at the University of Tübingen. It was hosted by the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW), the RHET AI Center and the Collaborative Research Centre 923 “Threatened Orders” in cooperation with the EU-funded project WeNet – The Internet of Us. The international and interdisciplinary event brought together global visionaries who explored the intersection of social justice and emerging technologies, with a particular focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Around 100 participants gathered in the Old Assembly Hall (Alte Aula) in the historic old town of Tübingen.
Throughout the symposium, engaging discussions were held on various thought-provoking topics, spanning the areas of science fiction, Afrofuturism, tech governance, policy, design for social justice, digital activism, and decolonial approaches to technology. Participants from academia, activism, and the arts provided diverse perspectives, fostering enriching conversations, interactive panels, and a range of dynamic formats. Speakers from Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the USA, UK, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, and Germany shared the stage and their fascinating work with each other.
The symposium shed light on the societal injustices present in the design, production, and distribution of technology, challenging conventional values. Attendees had the opportunity to critically examine the interplay between technology and societal inequalities, generating insightful dialogue and raising important questions.
In addition to the stimulating intellectual program, participants also had the chance to explore the vibrant city of Tübingen. Museum visits and cinema outings were organized, offering a glimpse into the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and justice, while providing a cultural backdrop to the symposium.
The symposium provided a platform for global thought leaders to exchange ideas, foster connections, and envision a more equitable future. We hope that the symposium succeeded in fostering a welcoming atmosphere that enabled fruitful discussions and collaborations, shaping a path towards a just technological landscape and more collaboration on the topic in the future.
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