"Trust Me I'm An AI" is largely and boldly written on an A4 piece of paper that is pinned to a cork board. The cork board also has colourful post-it notes on it.

What Do We Mean When We Say “Rethinking Power and Ethics”?

To think about ethics and power is to think about what constitutes the majority of political, economic, cultural, and macro-social relationships in society. So to ask about this in the context of developments and implementations of new technologies in daily life, is to question who is favored, in what way, and why.

We believe that new technologies can shift power and ethics into a diverse discussion, hence the creation of our Rethinking Power and Ethics Space at MozFest 2022. As Wranglers of this Space, our hope is that many voices can contribute their point of view. We also hope that in a certain way, the Space can help balance the proposals and interventions in the daily life of these technologies from artists, theoretical proposals, and workshops, among others such as those explained in our previous post.

Why Is It Now Time For An Open Discussion?

It took us many weeks of discussion to get to this point because in principle, talking about ethics represents a problem and generates a lot of debate due to the individual, contextual and cultural dimensions that the concept carries with it. We see an example of this in the way privacy is understood by Europe with respect to the United States and/or China. It is the same concept but with different applications in each of these places, but why is this happening? That was our question and the reason that led us to the second part of the name of our Space, the power.

Following this order of ideas that power and ethics must be rethought in terms of design, development, distribution, and detection of harms, as well as the benefits of new technologies, we set out to create this Space.

In principle, as a team, we planned to make it clear that this would not be a Space in which a single vision of what power and ethics would be present, but if all of these represented a critical and proactive approach to how the relationship takes place. Of these concepts, what interests us most is how these proposals can be applied to life in a practical way. They offer new and diverse narratives about new technologies and how they not only represent a group of society but also represent diversity, in order to guarantee that its benefits are greater, especially for people belonging to minority populations.

How We’ll Show Up At MozFest 2022

Hence, in our wrangling process, diversity of gender, origin, ethnicity, and culture will play an important role and will be reflected in this Space. We hope this will enliven those attending the workshops, artistic exhibitions, discussions, and light talks and generate questions about how we can think about power and ethics more than we currently do, and respect the rights and worldviews of all.

Let's all come together in Rethinking Power and Ethics at Mozfest 2022!

We encourage you to take the discussion further by taking part in our interactive sessions, workshops and art exhibitions. Have a look through the Schedule and get your ticket now!

Umut Pajaro Velasquez is advocating for a more inclusive internet and the development of new tech. They are a member of ISOC and Core Organizer at Queer in AI.

MozFest is part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world. To learn more, visit www.mozillafestival.org.

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