Anthropology + Technology website

Anthropology + Technology

Together for socially-responsible AI

The Anthropology + Technology Conference happened for the first time the 3rd of October 2019 in Bristol, United Kingdom. The conference featured speakers from a range of interdisciplinary backgrounds ranging from computer science; law; hackers; sociologists; psychologists; artists; media scholars; data scientists and more. It was a collection of a diverse range of individuals that had a keen interest in the topic of anthropology and technology. There were many talks at the conference and I would like to run through a few in chronological order.

From DeepMind Technologies to the Nonprofit Sector

Julien talked about his journey and how he had become increasingly involved in the nonprofit sector as well as how developers or programmers working on artificial intelligence were increasingly choosing to spend their time wanting to do meaningful work instead of or in addition to the work they are already doing with the technology companies that they are with.

Embodied Intelligence

His talk went through the different conceptual frameworks and theories that he had worked out in regards to understanding embodied knowledge and thus our intelligence. He criticised artificial intelligence for not being able to solve simple tasks and marvelled at the way our human body works.

Intelligent technology and Bioanthropology

She had experience working with artificial intelligence from a legal perspective, policy-making and technical understanding. As such she claimed that we had to be focused on both sustainability and inequality. She talked about growing the pie and also distributing the pie. Artificial intelligence can be used differently.

The Data Makers

Gloria talked about how people’s perception of what data is may often be wrong. She asked the audience several times to close our eyes and imagine what data would look like. Data is not a one time transaction and it is not informed simply by giving consent.

The Anthropologist Building Tech

During his talk Roelof brought statistics regarding the process of the climate change so far and a clear picture of how much change it would take to shift the course that we are currently on. With a practical and pragmatic approach Roelof showed a series of different prototypes and encouraged the audience adopt a design manifesto.


This is day 122 of #500daysofAI. If you enjoy this article please give me a response as I do want to improve my writing or discover new research, companies and projects.

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store