Julia Powles is a research fellow at NYU’s Information Law Institute as well as at Cornell Tech, New York City’s bold new academic-tech research hub. Her research focuses on the law and politics of technology, bringing expertise in privacy, data protection, intellectual property, and internet regulation. Prior to coming to New York, Julia was a postdoctoral fellow in law and computer science at the University of Cambridge, a policy fellow and contributing editor at The Guardian newspaper, and speechwriter for the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization. She has worked as a lawyer, scientific researcher, and clerked in the Federal Court of Australia and Administrative Appeal Tribunal. A former Commonwealth Scholar, Julia holds a Ph.D. in law from the University of Cambridge, a B.C.L. (master’s in law) from the University of Oxford, and undergraduate honors degrees in science from the Australian National University and law from the University of Western Australia. 

Talk: Big Tech and AI Complacency

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Abstract: It has become almost automatic. While public conversation about artificial intelligence readily diverts into problems of the long future (the rise of the machines) and ingrained past (systemic inequality, now perpetuated and reinforced in data-driven systems), a small cadre of tech companies amasses unprecedented power on a planetary scale. This talk is an exploration and invitation. It interrogates the debates we have, and those we need, about AI, algorithms, rights, regulation, and the future. It examines what we talk about, why we talk about it, what we should ask and solve instead, and what is required to spur a richer, more imaginative, more innovative conversation about the world we wish to create.