It was a great honour to be asked by a group of young Chinese interns at the United Nations University Institute in Macau to give a short keynote address at the hybrid event that they were organising from there on 30th April in partnership with The Institute for AI International Governance of Tsinghua University (I-AIIG), forming part of the World Data Forum satellite event being convened by the Institute in the city of Macau. As their introduction to the event summarised:
The younger generation are often seen as digital natives who have more exposure and access to data technology than older generations. They are also more likely to use data technology for learning, innovation, participation and empowerment. However, this also means that they face unique opportunities and challenges related to data that need to be explored and addressed.
As the satellite event of this year’s World Data Forum, this youth forum will take “Digital and Youth” as the main theme, adhere to youth leadership and youth participation, aiming to provide a platform for dialogue and exchange among different stakeholders who are interested in or affected by data and its impact on youth.
In the brief 15 minutes available, I chose to focus on three proposals:
- We need new, more inclusive modes of inter-generational dialogue about digital
- Just because it is possible to do something, does not mean that it is right or good to do so.
- Digital tech is all too often assumed to be inherently good – but we need to mitigate the harms to ensure any good can prevail
- We must all consider the environmental impact of data, and digital tech more widely.
- Digital tech is often the cause of environmental harms rather than a solution
The full presentation (in .pdf format is available at Data and Youth.
The event was great fun, and the organisers had brought together many leading young academics from across China working on digital tech in general, and data in particular, divided into four main sessions:
- Youth Work on Digital Humanities in Empowering the Cultural Legacy
- Digital technology and Wellness
- Artificial Intelligence Cutting Edge
- Personal Information Protection and Data Security Governance
Many thanks to everyone involved for making this such an interesting and enjoyable experience.