Dr. Jennifer Edmond & Max Stearns: Democracy in the AI & Digital Age

Dr. Jennifer Edmond & Max Stearns: Democracy in the AI & Digital Age

Democracy, propelled by the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and the vast realm of digital technologies, has taken a transformative turn. A discussion hosted by the ADAPT centre on November 30, delved into the intricate ways in which these advancements are reshaping the democratic landscape.

Max Stearns, a design-minded researcher and Senior Design Lead at Democratic Society, and Dr. Jennifer Edmond, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at Trinity College Dublin, offered insights into the profound impact of AI and big data on democracy during the conversation.

The dialogue kicked off by examining the broader implications of digital technologies on democracy. Both  Dr. Edmond and Mr. Stearns are involved in the KT4D project and they outlined its role in harnessing technology to empower citizens and foster informed decision-making. The Digital Democracy Lab, which will be a key output from the KT4D project, was discussed as a platform dedicated to exploring the intersection of culture, technology, and democracy.

Dr. Edmond, with her extensive experience in coordinating research projects, emphasised the importance of a cultural lens when analysing the relationship between technology and democracy. She provided insights into the multifaceted impact of AI, big data, and democracy.

As the discussion progressed, the experts examined the critical issue of diffusing polarisation in digital spaces, emphasising the need for trust in tools and information. The conversation culminated in a closer look at the future of elections, addressing how AI will likely impact electoral processes.

In the concluding remarks, the experts highlighted the opportunities for designers to reassess their roles in shaping the future of democracy. Both Mr. Stearns and Dr. Edmond offered a compelling vision of leveraging technology to encourage informed decision-making and the potential for AI to be a force for positive change in the democratic process.