Artificial intelligence in the city: Building civic engagement and public trust

A collection of essays edited by Ana Brandusescu and Jess Reia featuring essays from participants of the AI in the City: Building Civic Engagement and Public Trust symposium that took place remotely on February 10, 2022. Watch the video recordings.

After navigating various challenging policy and regulatory contexts over the years, in different regions, we joined efforts to create a space that offers possibilities for engagement focused on the expertise, experiences and hopes to shape the future of technology in urban areas. The AI in the City symposium emerged as an opportunity to connect people, organizations, and resources in the networks we built over the last decade of work on research and advocacy in tech policy. Sharing non-Western and Western perspectives, the participants questioned, challenged, and envisioned ways public trust and meaningful civic engagement can flourish and persist as data and AI become increasingly pervasive in our lives. The day brought together a group of multidisciplinary scholars, activists, and practitioners working on a diverse range of initiatives to map strategies going forward. The focus on civil society and academia was deliberate: a way to listen to and learn with people who have dedicated many years to public interest advocacy, governance and policy that represents the interests of their communities.

The collection of essays is designed to become a resource for a broad audience of people with different backgrounds, skills, and interests. Here we introduce perspectives from cities around the world, written by contributors from five continents. By starting this conversation with our peers, we want to share our successes and struggles, as well as build a platform for voices that need even more reverberation in current data and technology debates. (Source: Ana Brandusescu and Jess Reia)



Suggested citation: Brandusescu, A., & Reia, J. (Eds.). (2022). Artificial intelligence in the city: Building civic engagement and public trust. Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal, McGill University.


The collection of essays and the symposium were made possible by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal (CIRM) at McGill University and the School of Data Science at the University of Virginia with generous support from the McConnell Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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