Personal Autonomy in Artificial Intelligence Technologies in Politics

2 December 2020, 12:30 - 14:00

Online

"I think the seminars are a real perk of a CRASSH fellowship, and I found them more useful, both in substance and in form, than any other seminars I have attended in Cambridge." Dr Louise Joy (Crausaz Wordsworth Fellow in Lent Term 2020) 
 

 

Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work in Progress Seminar Series. All welcome but please email fellowships@crassh.cam.ac.uk to book your place and to request readings. 

Dr Filip Bialy

In my current research I try to make sense of the concept of personal autonomy in the advent of Artificial Intelligence technologies in politics. My interest in that topic stems from the observation that at the heart of the idea of contemporary liberal democracy lies an assumption that citizens’ decisions, especially during elections, are free. Recently, the proliferation of narrow AI-based tools – such as micro-targeted advertisement, content recommendation systems, “Big Nudging” techniques, deepfake videos or social media bots – has had a significant impact on people’s political choices and behaviour. The very uncertainty of the extent of that impact poses a serious challenge for the democratic process: the autonomy of citizens’ decisions has been made suspect. Consequently, if voters’ choices are not free, the legitimacy of democratic institutions might be called into question. It thus seems to me urgent to reassess the way we think about personal autonomy. Furthermore, I am interested in putting these investigations in a broader context of our understanding of democratic agency, linking it with philosophical and literary theory, especially with post-Hegelian readings of ancient Greek tragedy and tragic, agonistic vision of politics as an open-ended struggle for freedom and equality for all.​

Dr Filip Bialy is a Visiting Fellow and will be at CRASSH in Michaelmas Term 2020 and Lent Term 2021.

Filip Biały, an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political and Administrative Sciences of Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz (Poland), is a political scientist with broad interest in contemporary normative political theory. His aim is to challenge methodological boundaries between humanities, social sciences and technical studies. He holds a Master’s Degree in political science and journalism, a PhD in political philosophy, and a postgraduate diploma in Big Data and data processing. In 2019 he was a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He published a book on the concepts of agonistic democracy (2018) and co-edited a book on the popular culture and ideology (2020).