Story+ Project

Camera Digita: Portraits of AI’s Role in the Futures of All

(2021)

This is a project of inclusion, representation, and empowerment. Camera Digita: Portraits of AI’s Role in the Futures of All will address the core issue of how digital technologies—especially emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies—are bringing about massive social changes, while at the same time many of the most impacted communities have limited voice in the development of the technologies or related law and policy. This project integrates arts and creative human-centered design principles to listen to traditionally marginalized stakeholders and elevate oft-excluded portraits and voices to help ensure our AI futures empower all.

We will help elevate these voices and portraits of inclusive AI through creative portraits, narratives, and artistic creations. This will be done through:

  • Interviews and outreach - Our team will receive training re: careful interview outreach and then conduct a series of interviews with stakeholders identified through various existing networks;
  • Artistic pieces that capture the above including videos, portraits, essays, etc.;
  • Producing and online ‘Zine exhibit through a platform such as Issuu to share this work with a wider audience.

Skills. We’ll be looking for students who:

  • Connect with others and express a deep sense of care, which is demonstrated through their extremely thoughtful and careful “bedside manner” 
  • Engage in deep learning about the complexity of socio-technical systems and avoid easy assumptions about technology.
  • Work across disciplines and recognize the value of inquiry from multiple perspectives.
  • Believe in the power of narrative, the power of the particular, and the importance of situating technology in context in order to understand tech’s impact on our world.
  • Have time management and project management skills, or a willingness to do their darn best to grow in these areas!
Project Sponsor(s): 

Jeff Ward, Director of the Duke Center on Law & Tech, Associate Dean for Technology & Innovation, and Clinical Professor of Law, Duke School of Law.

Project Manager:

Dr. Ariana Eily, a science communication expert, a Fellow of the Duke Center on Law & Tech, and a former postdoctoral fellow of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society.

Undergraduates: 

Marie Cheng, Amber Park, Athena Yao

Outcome: 


Camera Digita Story+ Team, Summer 2021. Pictured Ariana Eily, Marie Cheng, Jeff Ward, Amber Park, Athena Yao.

Student Marie Cheng asks: “What can a team of undergraduates do to change the inevitable path of technology?” That feeling of powerlessness is all too common.

Camera Digita: Portraits of AI’s Role in the Futures of All was a project of inclusion, representation, and empowerment. Together we explored ways that digital technologies—especially emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies—are bringing about massive social changes, while at the same time many of the communities most impacted by these changes have limited voice in the development of these technologies. We aimed, as student Athena Yao notes, “to ask the difficult questions for which there are no easy answers …[and to] build towards a future in which there is transparency, equity, and intentionality.”

To explore these issues, we sought to hear different voices and to use non-traditional techniques, and we found special power in storytelling and the visual arts. Over six weeks, our team integrated technology desk research with artistic creation, stories of community members’ particular experiences, and tools of design justice. We listened to traditionally marginalized stakeholders through free-form interviews and then elevated their concerns and their visions for a better AI future through artistic works to help ensure our AI futures empower all. In the end, we empowered ourselves, too, as student Amber Park makes clear in her curatorial statement that accompanies our web gallery:

Ultimately, we are the creators of our own destiny with AI. From implementing smart AI gadgets in our homes to fighting for privacy rights against non-consensual facial recognition, we determine how we engage with evolving technology.

You can soon take a walk through the interactive website and art gallery we created both to document our journey and to invite you to reflect on your own experiences with artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.

Image Source

Topic(s)

  • Art
  • Computation
  • Visual Media
  • Oral History
  • Documentary
  • Civil Rights