On Thursday, 9th of June, the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society was part of a session at Rightscon 2022, and centre member Samson Yoseph Esayas was one of the speakers. The session led to fruitful discussions about asymmetries in data infrastructure between the Global North and the Global South.
World's leading summit on human rights in the digital age
Rightscon is one of the leading conferences in digital rights, convening stakeholders from policy, academia, the tech industry and civil society. The conference, which is hosted by Access Now, has had close to 10 000 participants in recent years. This year, like in the last two years, the conference was held online.
Discussions on the inequality between the Global North and Global South
Samson Yoseph Esayas, from the Department of Law and Governance at BI, was a speaker in the session Building on quicksand: Global North and South data inequality and the development of AI. Samson spoke of some of the data-divide concerns that Europe is grappling with right now. Amongst other things, he discussed how the North-South divide can lead to immigrants beeing subjected to AI-based discrimination in some European countries. Furthermore, he addressed the divide in data control between those generating the data and small businesses, versus a few big, mainly US-based corporations who in reality are the owners and beneficiaries of such data.The other speakers of the session were Noopur Raval (NYU), Shaun Pather (University of the Western Cape) and Celina Bottino (Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro), whilst Janaina Costa (Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro) was the moderator.
The session aimed at exposing the asymmetries in data infrastructure between the Global North and the Global South, and how these inequalities impact AI development and outcomes. The ultimate goal was to outline ways to address the inequality between the Global North and the Global South to prevent and/or reverse harmful consequences. Even though trying to bridge this gap can sometimes feel like “building on quicksand”, the contributions expertise of the panelists led to fruitful and engaging discussions. The event brought together about 30 attendants with diverse backgrounds, both in terms of geography and disciplines.
The session is part of the Triple AI project, which aims to convene a diverse network of researchers with the goal of empowering decision makers both in the private and public sector working in the development, regulation and governance of artificial intelligence. ITS Rio was the main organizer, whilst NCIS and Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society were co-organizers