ReDDDoT Phase 1: TRCN: Threads that Weave AI: Knowledge Systems, Political Economies, and Fair Governance

This Translational Research Coordination Network (TRCN) award will support the creation of a new community of practice focused on exploring how design, adoption, and governance decisions mediate the social justice implications of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is a rapidly emerging set of technologies whose use is poised to transform social understandings of and relationships to knowledge, work, and politics. As with prior moments of technologically mediated change, the accelerating adoption of AI is likely to produce both positive and negative impacts that are felt unevenly across and within global societies. It is well established that technologies are not neutral, but instead reflect the values, biases, and epistemic views of those that design and implement them. This presents historically marginalized and minoritized groups with unique disadvantages, since they are often structurally excluded from design spaces and from the decision-making spaces that guide implementation and policy. These groups often also lack access to resources and education that might support them in reappropriating technologies in socially and politically empowering ways. In response, interdisciplinary research and practice has explored approaches for democratizing the design of technology; increasing the capacity of communities to adopt and reappropriate technology for their own uses; and much more. This work must be extended to ensure that the new waves of technologies that constitute AI are designed and implemented in ways that minimize harm and optimize socially just outcomes. This TRCN will build the capacity of scholars, practitioners, and communities to do that work.It will do so by achieving the following: (1) the implementation of workshops and conferences that build new relationships and share knowledge; (2) the implementation of collaborative research projects related to AI and social justice; (3) the development of a research agenda that synthesizes ideas from across TRCN workshops and collaborative projects; and (4) the publication of project results within academic and practitioner journals and conferences. We will leverage national and international partnerships and the infrastructure of the University of Washington (UW) Information School, a leader in research into ethical AI, to ensure national dissemination of outputs and broader impact.

Grant Info


Kavita Dattani

Start Date

Jan 1, 2024