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Foundational AI: Navigating a Shifting Terrain

September 18, 2023, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT

Free for EPIC Members

(Monday, September 18, 6-7pm CEST)

Virtual Session

Rogerio De Paula, Senior Research Scientist & Manager, IBM Research Brazil

Britta Fiore-Gartland, Principal Researcher, Salesforce

Jofish Kaye, Principal Research Scientist, Wells Fargo

Tamara Kneese, Senior Researcher & Project Director, Data & Society’s Algorithmic Impact Methods Lab

Foundational AI models have captured the world’s attention in 2023, with new deployments in digital products that enable widespread public engagement with synthetic text, audio, images, and video production. Debates around adoption, trust, truth, responsibility and power are erupting into workplaces, media, education, government, community and activist organisations. These are themes that ethnographers, data scientists and kin have worked on for decades, but they are taking on new forms, and 2023 feels like a moment of social and technological change that will shift the terrain of our work. 

We will explore this shifting terrain together with a distinguished guide: Rogerio De Paula is a senior research scientist with two decades of experience in artificial intelligence, data science, and human-machine collaboration. He also counts nearly two decades in the EPIC community—he has co-authored 8 key EPIC papers charting sociotechnical systems, digital product development, culture and power in research, and the trajectory of ethnography in industry.

First Rogerio will make a substantial presentation that maps the AI space:

  • What are the types and capabilities of foundational AI models that exist now, and what advances on the horizon?
  • What kinds of products and services do foundational models enable (and how might they shift what we mean by product/service)?
  • Who is involved in building and designing with AI, and how are engineering, design, research, and other roles evolving?
  • What kinds of frameworks, methods, collaborations and critical perspectives can ethnographers use (or create) to influence the design, deployment and management of AI models and products?

Next Rogerio will host a series of conversations that drill into these topics. Discussants Jofish Kaye, Tamara Kneese, and Britta Fiore-Gartland are doing innovative work on AI in industry, nonprofit, and academic spaces.

Rogerio headshotRogerio De Paula is a senior research scientist and manager at IBM Research Brazil. He has more than 15 years experience conducting and leading research and development projects in the areas of artificial intelligence, data science, and human-machine collaboration. Currently, he leads research and development projects that aim at transforming how AI technologies can impact our ways of work, in particular, investigating how AI technologies can affect how teams work, how we measure team productivity and engagement, and how we assess skills and predict their demands. Rogerio is a scientist and humanist, as well as a long-time EPIC member and contributor and co-chair of EPIC2015 in São Paulo, Brazil.

Britta Fiore-Gartland headshotBritta Fiore-Gartland is a Principal Researcher at Salesforce leading research on Salesforce’s AI platform and building trustworthy AI.  She has published numerous scholarly papers and blog posts on topics ranging from human-centered data science and ethical AI to future of work and organizational innovation. Previously she was a Director of User Research for Tableau, leading analytics and AI research and Director of Research and faculty at the University of Washington eScience Institute, where she led a data science ethnography research program.

jofish headshotJofish Kaye directs research teams to produce thoughtful, ethical, and impactful HCI and AI- driven products and prototypes, using tools such as user studies, surveys, big data, and even ethnography.  He has held leadership roles in research and design at Yahoo, Mozilla, Elevance Health, and Anthem. Jofish holds a PhD in information science and has published over a hundred papers, chapters, and patents, chaired the CHI conference, and wrangles three children.

Tamara Kneese headshotTamara Kneese is a Senior Researcher and Project Director of Data & Society’s Algorithmic Impact Methods Lab. Before joining D&S, she was Lead Researcher at Green Software Foundation, Director of Developer Engagement on the Green Software team at Intel, and Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Director of Gender and Sexualities Studies at the University of San Francisco. Tamara holds a PhD in in Media, Culture and Communication and is author of Death Glitch: How Techno-Solutionism Fails Us in This Life and Beyond.


September 18, 2023
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT
Free for EPIC Members