Pieter Verdegem speaks at the ‘Society, AI and Normativities’ International Symposium

8 March 2023

Pieter Verdegem recently presented his work at the international symposium on Society, AI and Normativities. The symposium, which was hosted in Montreal between 14 – 16 February 2023, sought to raise questions and explore different perspectives with researchers, practitioners and civil society actors in order to enrich the debate and to think differently about the different normative initiatives surrounding AI, for the benefit of individuals, groups and the whole society.

Verdegem’s talk focused on the political economy of AI, noting that political economy is valuable for dissecting the hype surrounding AI, by offering a framework for understanding how power and inequalities have become inextricably woven into AI, its development and application. Verdegem put forward the idea that using a political economy approach allows us to analyse how both economic power and symbolic power are at work in the field of AI.  He also noted how economic power is seen in the concentration of AI industries and the tendency towards monopolisation, while symbolic power is about the influence of dominant ideas about what type of AI society we need and desire and reveals the limitations of AI ethics initiatives. Verdegem’s talk concluded by highlighting the importance of social power if we want to achieve a democratization of AI.


Read more about the international symposium on Society, AI and Normativities.


Image: Pieter Verdegem

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