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Sofia Ranchordas is Keynote Speaker at AI for Humanity and Society 2023

Published: October 12, 2023

Participants at the AI for Humanity and Society 2023 workshops. Photo: Charlotte Carlberg

The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems, and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS) is delighted to announce Sofia Ranchordas as the keynote speaker for the upcoming annual WASP-HS conference on “AI for Humanity and Society 2023.” Sofia Ranchordas serves as the WASP-HS Guest Professor in the Sociology of Law at Lund University.

Keynote Abstract

In the presentation Ranchordas will discuss how to rehumanize the regulation of the digital administrative state. The keynote starts by arguing that in the digital administrative state are losing sight of the citizen, particularly of citizens who need government the most. Administrative law in particular is designed and applied for average citizens. However, drawing on vulnerability theories, Ranchordas will argue that there is no such thing as an average citizen. Rather, everyone can be vulnerable at some point in life and require some kind of assistance and additional empathy. With the digital government and the growing automation of decision-making, administrative law has become a field of law that is focused on the management of information, the automated assessment of eligibility criteria, the production of automated decisions ‘in bulk’ (e.g., traffic fines), and the formulation of risk factors that anticipate the need of public intervention or predict fraud. This has eliminated any room for assessing the real needs of citizens. The talk will delve into different mechanisms and instruments that we can use to rehumanize the digital welfare state: (i) redesigning the public administration and administrative law procedures with ex ante empathy, considering individual needs in the early stages of social welfare benefits applications; (ii) reshaping the concept of good administration to infuse it with notions of citizenship and meaningful contact; (iii) rethinking how we compensate for the inequality between citizens and the public administration.

More About AI for Humanity and Society 2023

As we face an increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in everyday practices, it becomes more critical than ever to examine how AI affects our lives and society. Researchers in the social sciences and humanities have made essential observations and analyses on this topic. Yet, we still need grounded, situated, and relational understandings of how AI impacts us individually and collectively.

To reach this goal, it is imperative to closely examine the norms, values, and assumptions underpinning current AI research, inquiry about the criticality embedded in scholarly practices, and question the relevance of the methods chosen. We must identify what works well for all groups in society and discuss what needs improvement or change. This is why WASP-HS welcomes researchers, representatives from industry, and policymakers to discuss these issues on 14-15 November at Malmö Live in Malmö, Sweden.

Read more and register for the conference.