Artificial Intelligence: the Democratic Challenges
Jeni spoke on this panel, organised by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and chaired by Cllr Lisa Smart, at the Liberal Democrat Spring Party Conference 2023, alongside Silkie Carlo from Big Brother Watch and Martha Dark from Foxglove Legal.
I wasn’t sure where this panel on the “democratic challenges of AI” would end up focusing. Would we be narrowly exploring the role of AI – particularly generative AI and adtech – in generating and amplifying misinformation, for example? In the end, it was a wide-ranging discussion about the role of data, digital and technology in our society, particularly its deployment by the government, and the lack of transparency and scrutiny over it.
Silkie talked about the deployment of facial recognition; Martha about the lack of transparency and public consultation around the Palantir’s involvement in the NHS. I focused on the wider issues around gaining democratic control over data and AI, and of course the role of powerful public participation in asserting that control.