Feb 14, 2020
New Research and Announcements!
Newsletter #03 / January 2020
Good newsletters have themes, apparently. The state of the Republic is probably most appropriate. But that deserves a separate conversation. Yet, nothing else seems as relevant or urgent. So, instead, here are a few words that describe our priorities, and how they have grown, as we celebrate three years of Tandem Research.
Here's a round up of some key highlights from 2019 and plans for 2020.
When we started our Artificial Intelligence & Society initiative in early 2018, we were often asked if there is any AI deployment at all in India. Fast forward to today, automated facial recognition systems (AFRS) are being used by the police, railways, and even for voter verification. We urgently need to develop governance frameworks relevant to the Indian context, based on empirical evidence of AI use in India. We recently argued for the need to ban the use of AFRS, not just regulate their use, as they undermine the foundations of a participatory democracy.
This year we will do a deeper dive into select use-cases in agriculture, health, policing, and fin-tech, to understand issues around data, design, and equity. Some exciting new partnerships in the works !
A major highlight of the year were the two round tables we organized for Members of Parliament, on the uses and risks of AI in India, and Big Tech in India. Another highlight was the Speculative Fictionworkshop we organized at Rights Con on AI in the Global South. We will be further exploring story telling as a tool for policy and public engagement this year.
We also went to Sri Lanka! Our report with the ILO on the impact of emerging technologies on the future world of work was released by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. We continue our work on Sri Lanka this year, looking at green jobs and sustainability; the platformization of tourism, and the care economy.
We also served as a knowledge partner to Niti Aayog in drafting its strategy paper on ‘Roadmap for Development of Digital Talent in India’.. Our most sustained and direct engagement with the policy process thus far. Much to learn about the dynamics of multiple actors and policy coalitions in the digital space.
In March this year, we will host a two day research workshop on the Future of Work and Workers, with IIITB in Bangalore, to bring together interdisciplinary research on the changing world of work. Do get in touch if you would like to share your work!
Big announcement! We are setting up India’s first Urban Living Lab, in Panjim, through an exciting collaboration with Oxford Policy Management, TERI and Smart City Panjim, and supported by the Danish government. This will be a co-learning and doing space, at the interface of sustainability, technology and society - bringing together researchers, citizens, and the private sector. Stay tuned to this space for more updates.
We held our first Monsoon Academy in 2019! Our first academy focused on Planning for Climate Resilience in Urban Areas, bringing together researchers and practitioners from South Asia. In partnership with Global Climate Adaptation Partnership, UK.
We envision our Monsoon Academies as spaces for peer-learning, bringing together researchers and practitioners for a three-day retreat in Goa, around a specific theme. This year we are hosting two Monsoon Academies - on AI & Social Justice; and Feminist Methods.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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