Responsible innovation monthly round up – January 2021

Written by Catherine Makin on 21 Jan, 21
Responsible innovation

A regular update on activities within our responsible innovation theme.

What we’ve been doing:

Behind the scenes, the City Innovation Team have launched an new, internal quarterly newsletter for Bristol City Council colleagues. The Innovation Matters newsletter, which circulated its first edition in January 2021, aims to bring colleagues a review of relevant news and developments in innovation and digital technologies, with horizon scanning insights tailored to Bristol City Council and the city. We hope to periodically share select content from this newsletter via the Connecting Bristol website and in these monthly round-ups.

Where we’ve been and what we’ve seen:

Women Leading in AI hosted a fascinating conversation with anthropologist Veronica Barassi, author of Child Data Citizen. Veronica Barassi’s book is an examination of the datafication of family life and the construction of our children into data subjects. Child Data Citizen looks at children’s data traces and their social and political implications in the age of big data and artificial intelligence, where data traces are made to talk for and about citizens across a life-time.

There is much work to do to understand, deliberate and address this societal challenge, however, promising steps are being taken. For example, The Children’s Code (formal title: Age Appropriate Design Code) is a data protection code of practice for online services, such as apps, online games, and web and social media sites likely to be accessed by children, in order that children are protected within the digital world. The code came into force in September 2020 and organisations now have 12 months to get everything in place to ensure compliance. The code is a requirement of UK data protection law and continues to apply post-Brexit.

    What we’ve read:

    The third national lockdown in England has seen the promise of additional support to help people get online at home with schemes and initiatives offering access to devices, data and connectivity and learning resources. This BBC article summarises the support currently available and we’ve summarised various support offers and options here.

    Reboot by Nominet is an online platform that supports community groups and volunteers to source and re-purpose devices in their local areas, in a cost-efficient way.

    The immediate need for providing devices, connectivity and digital skills must be underpinned by long term change that commits to ending the digital divide. Chris Ashworth, Head of Public Benefit at Nominet argues that the digital divide “will hinder any national ambitions to become a global digital leader and prevent us, as a country, unlock the plethora of benefits that technology can provide society as a whole”.

    What we want to share:

    The Anthropology + Technology Conference returns in May 2021, under its new name: the Response-ability Summit. A call for presentations is open until 1 March. The event aims to run both online and offline in various European cities including Bristol, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, and London, local COVID-19 restrictions permitting.

    The Ada Lovelace Institute is recruiting a Senior Researcher – Justice and Equalities and a Public Engagement Researcher. Both roles close on 2 February.

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