Date: January 28
Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm CST
Location: Zoom – Register here
The Public Interest Technology Research Focus Area will host a student research panel on January 28 from 4-5 p.m. CT. Join us to hear a recent graduate and PhD candidate present their research in areas of Public Interest Technology, followed by informal question and answer.
Tina Lassiter is a 2020 graduate of the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. This is her second career. Originally, she worked as a German lawyer specializing in Information Technology, Intellectual Property, and International Law. Going back to graduate
school, she took a special interest in Ethics and AI. She worked as GRA for the Bad AI and Beyond project of the Good System Challenge, she participates in an ongoing research project about AI and recruiting, and worked together with KUNGFU.AI, a local Austin tech company, for her capstone project.
Tina’s capstone project focuses on how technology companies can implement ethics in their business model. Over several months, Tina worked together with KUNGFU.AI. She attended weekly ethics discussions, analyzed their ethics Slack channel, and interviewed team members. Through a survey with over 60 other tech companies, she learned more about various approaches and opinions concerning ethics in the tech world. The research allowed her to create a database for the company, introduce an online tool designed by AI-Global that provides ethical scores and reports for projects, and inform the company about other possible
ideas for the future.
Sarah Welsh is wrapping up a Ph.D. in the Department of English at UT Austin, where her research has focused on media, writing, and tech ethics. She worked as a GRA for Good Systems, and is currently a Project Manager for the Human Dimensions of Organizations’ partnership with the Digital Writing and Research Lab at UT. Her dissertation argues that users are learning to craft their own methods for digital forgetting online, and shows how this is successfully (and unsuccessfully) achieved for reputation management purposes.
Her presentation, “Data Prevention for Good Systems,” shows how social networking has increasingly integrated ephemeral functions (e.g., disappearing messages, stories, “fleets”) to support sharing and systematic deletion. Her idea of “data prevention”–as the prevention of the collection, storage, and/or processing of data–proposes a framework that allows for the systematic deletion of digital media as it benefits the needs of humans, non-humans, and organizations. In a best case scenario, data prevention is an ethical response to the technical and social concerns of divergent stakeholders, and will become an increasingly pragmatic response to the proliferation of digital media and its data.