Yuan Stevens on Montreal's Role in the Global AI Industry


Arts Building Room 150, 853 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0G5, CA

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/707891393021223/

Move Fast and Break Things? Montreal’s Role in the Global AI Industry

Montreal is now an "AI powerhouse.” But that hasn’t always been the case — and it didn’t happen organically or naturally. Instead, specific academic institutions and NGOs have sought to build a robust ecosystem here in Montreal with significant support and funding from the government and corporations like Microsoft and Google. Why was Montreal chosen as one of Canada’s AI hubs? To what ends, and for whose benefit? How are vulnerable populations harmed by tech industry gold rushes?

In this talk, legal and sociotechnical researcher Yuan (you-anne) Stevens explores these questions through legal and archival analysis of government economic development policies, government subsidy agreements, as well as both press releases and news articles that reveal the efforts of government-corporate-academic alliances in the pursuit of making Montreal the “world’s leading AI and deep learning hub” at nearly any cost.

Yuan (you-anne) Stevens is a research consultant specializing in public interest law, emerging technology, and computer security. She currently works as a Research Officer at the Cyberjustice Laboratory, housed at the Faculty of Law of Université de Montréal where she examines the impact of artificial intelligence on access to justice for vulnerable populations. She is a research affiliate at Data & Society Research Institute (NYC).

She received her B.C.L./LL.B (JD) from McGill University in 2017, working as a research assistant for hacker expert Gabriella Coleman. One of her current academic projects is an ethnographic study focused on the labour experiences of hackers who participate in crowd-sourced vulnerability disclosure. She serves on the board of directors for Open Privacy Research Institute, Head & Hands in Montreal, and previously worked at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

This event is part of the Feminist and Accessible Publishing and Communications Technologies Speaker and Workshop Series (https://www.feministandaccessiblepublishingandtechnology.com). This series was made possible thanks to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies of McGill, MILA, the Dean of Arts Development Fund of McGill, Media @McGill, McGill's Department of History and Classical Studies, the William Dawson Fund, RéQEF, the Moving Image Research Laboratory, Element AI, and L'Euguélionne: Montreal's Feminist Bookstore.

There is no fee required to attend this event. Notes on accessibility will be announced closer to the event.

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