I can’t get rid of the feeling that the new year starts in promising September instead of depressive January. So, I took advantage of Summer to refresh my website and get a proper visual identity. Let me know your thoughts!
I am the lead author of the report Towards Gender Equality in Digital Welfare, recently released by Digital Future Society. While a growing number of researchers, NGOs, journalists and public authorities is looking at human rights in the digital welfare state, little attention has been paid to the gender inequalities it perpetuates. For the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the report aims to build a bridge between the debate about welfare and gender on one side, and the one about the social impact of algorithms in public services. This separation is a classic example of siloed expertise. I see great value in connecting the dots and making specialised knowledge accessible. Working across disciplines instead of from the comfortable boundaries of a precise one is sometimes a walk in the wild, but it is one that I enjoy.
I will definitely keep digging into the topic of public services digitalisation, also considering that Covid-19 is accelerating the top-down deployment of Automated Decision-Making Systems. Commenting on students’ protests in England (an algorithm produced a mass downgrading of A-level results), prof Louise Amoore has a point:
Resistance to algorithms has often focused on issues such as data protection and privacy. The young people protesting against Ofqual’s algorithm were challenging something different. They weren’t focused on how their data might be used in the future, but how data had been actively used to change their futures.
That’s the thing: to which extent do we want a non-accountable system to pre-cook and restrict our future options?