Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Workshops

The Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Workshops will focus on how to progress the conceptual theory and practice of next level of A.I. The key question the workshop will address is this: from an Indigenous perspective, what should our relationship with A.I. be? Related questions include: how can Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies contribute to the global conversation regarding society and A.I.? How do we broaden discussions regarding the role of technology in society beyond the largely culturally homogeneous research labs and Silicon Valley startup culture? How do we imagine a future with A.I. that contributes to the flourishing of all humans and non-humans?

The first workshop will take place March 1 - 2, 2019, at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in Honolulu, HI. It will bring together approximately twenty mainly Indigenous scholars and artists to discuss the questions above. A subset of the first workshop attendees will participate in a writing workshop in late April or May, 2019 (also at UH Mānoa) to compose a white paper capturing the outcomes of these conversations.


Workshop Details

March 1 - 2, 2019

University of Hawaii at Mānoa in Honolulu, HI, U.S.A.

Workshop Organisers

Prof. Jason Edward Lewis (Cherokee, Hawaiian, Samoan) Angie Abdilla (Trawlwoolway)
Dr. ‘Ōiwi Parker Jones (Hawaiian)
Dr. D. Fox Harrell


The Core Team

Prof. Jason Edward Lewis. (Cherokee, Hawaiian and Samoan) is the University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Lewis is a Trudeau Fellow, and a former Carnegie Fellow. He is the University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary as well as Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montreal. He founded Obx Laboratory for Experimental Media in 2004, where he directs research/creation projects that engage with the cultural, social, and technological dimensions of emerging new media. Along with the artist Skawennati, he co-directs Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace, Skins Workshops on Aboriginal Storytelling and Video Game Design, and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures.

His other interests include computation as a creative material, emergent media theory and history, and methodologies for conducting art-led technology research. Lewis' creative work has been featured at Ars Electronica, Mobilefest, Elektra, Urban Screens, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, and FILE, among other venues, and has been recognized with the inaugural Robert Coover Award for Best Work of Electronic Literature, a Prix Ars Electronica Honorable Mention, several imagineNATIVE Best New Media awards and seven solo exhibitions. He's the author or co-author of chapters in collected editions covering Indigenous technology and digital media, mobile media, video game design, machinima and experimental pedagogy with Indigenous communities, as well as numerous journal articles and conference papers on these subjects.

Lewis has worked in a range of industrial research settings, including Interval Research, US West's Advanced Technology Group, and the Institute for Research on Learning as well as founding a research studio for the venture capital firm Arts Alliance. He received a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and B.A. in German Studies (Philosophy) from Stanford University, and an M.Phil. in Design from the Royal College of Art. Born and raised in northern California, Lewis is Cherokee, Hawaiian and Samoan.

Angie Abdilla. (Trawlwoolway) is the founder & CEO of Old Ways, new. Angie works across culture, research, strategy and technology, with Country centering how Indigenous cultural knowledges inform service design and deep technology for both the public and private sectors. Her published research on Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence was presented at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where she continues this work to inform the rights of future technologies. Angie publicly presents and lectures on Human/Technology inter-Relations at the University of Technology Sydney. Angie is a Fellow of The Ethics Centre and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

Dr. ʻŌiwi Parker Jones. (Hawaiian) is a Research Scientist at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford. Previously trained in Natural Language Processing at Oxford and in imaging-neuroscience at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, at University College London, he maintains a dual research profile as a neuroscientist and as a Polynesian linguist.

As a neuroscientist, Dr. Parker Jones works on the neurobiology of language and on the development of computational methods for analysing the largest neuroimaging datasets yet collected, such as the 100,000 subjects worth of MRI being collected by the UK Biobank. This research has had a recurring emphasis on improving outcomes for patients enduring neurological diagnoses such as brain tumours, epilepsy, and stroke. His current research is focused on creating a new generation of machine learning methods for use in Brain Computer Interfaces, especially neural speech prosthetics.

As a linguist, Dr. Parker Jones is known for his work on the documentation and conservation of Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages. Himself a product of the language-revitalisation movement that turned back the tide of Hawaiian extinction at the end of the 20th century, Dr. Parker Jones has written on Hawaiian, Māori, and on Maritime Polynesian Pidgins. Recently he has produced software to translate 19th century Hawaiian texts and has helped to launch a journal for the study of Polynesian languages and literatures.

Dr D. Fox Harrell is Professor of Digital Media and Artificial Intelligence at MIT. He is dually appointed in both the Comparative Media Studies Program and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research focuses on the relationship between imagination and computation. He founded and directs the MIT Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE Lab) to develop new forms of computational narrative, gaming, social media, and related digital media based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. Professor Harrell has worked as an interactive television producer and as a game designer. He is the author of Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (MIT Press) and numerous articles and book chapters.

Professor Harrell’s research has been supported by grants from organizations including the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2010, Harrell received an NSF CAREER Award for his project "Computing for Advanced Identity Representation." In 2013, he was featured in the ARTFORUM Top Ten list. In 2014-2015, he was awarded a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University and was recipient of the Lenore Annenberg and Wallis Annenberg Fellowship in Communication. Professor Harrell holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. His other degrees include a Master's degree in Interactive Telecommunication from New York University (Tisch School of the Arts), and a B.S. in Logic and Computation, B.F.A. in Art, and minor in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University (each with highest honors). He founded the company Blues Identity Systems, LLC, to consult on and develop videogames, VR, social media, and emerging technologies that enable us to reimagine who we are.


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