Technical Democracy Presentations
Our aim was for participants to learn a range of concepts, tools, and encounters to explore ‘hybrid forums’ (Callon et al., 2001) with heterogeneous groups – alongside ways to “trace the conceptual and empirical horizons of how social justice can be advanced in a datafied society” (Dencik et al., 2019, p. 880). The symposium offered participants a repertoire of vocabulary, resources, and ideas, to spark democracy and justice in their own education contexts.
Abstracts and slides from the symposium are below.
Pedagogic encounters with algorithmic system controversies: A technical democracy research apparatus
Institutions around the world are striving for ways to create computational systems which benefit constituents and mitigate potential harms. With the exponential rise and reach of algorithms, artificial intelligence, and data, the concept of ‘technical democracy’ (Callon, Lascoumes, & Barthe 2011) invites people with diverse expertise to tackle sociotechnical controversies via collective learning and experimentation. To explore an assemblage approach to technical democracy, we bring together thinking about algorithmic system controversies, methodological innovation, and public pedagogy. We advance this line of inquiry by introducing a research apparatus framework composed of several pedagogical encounters for reinventing algorithmic systems: deliberation, visualisation, exploration, design, examination, narration, speculation, and refusal. This framework is discussed as a way to open up the ethical, epistemic, and creative possibilities of ‘democratic interventions’ (Feenberg 1999) with diverse publics in a datafied society. We conclude with implications for future research attentive to pedagogical encounters with algorithmic system controversies - characterised by political struggle, knowledge, and reinvention.