[rohrpost] TODAY: The value of ambiguity. Data, Proxies and the limits of the computable, 19:00 (online)

Felix Stalder felix at openflows.com
Di Mär 22 09:10:16 CET 2022

I'm very happy to announce!

22 March 2022
19:00-20:30 CET
via YouTube Stream


The value of ambiguity. Data, Proxies and the limits of the computable

with Mireille Hildebrandt & Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, moderated by Felix Stalder

Mireille Hildebrandt: The politics of ambiguity and the issue of proxies

In my talk, I will argue that what matters is not computable. However, 
it can be made computable, and in different ways. This difference in 
turn matters, it makes a difference for those who will suffer or enjoy 
the consequences. To make things computable developers need proxies, as 
computing systems cannot deal with the ambiguity of the languages we 
live in. Decisions on disambiguation and the choice of proxies have 
far-reaching implications, There is a politics in these design decisions 
that requires our keen attention. This is where transparency and 
agonistic debate are pertinent.

Mireille Hildebrandt is a lawyer and philosopher who works at the 
intersection of law and computer science. She is the Research Professor 
at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel[1] and at Radboud University Nijmegen. 
She is also the principal investigator of the 'Counting as a Human Being 
in the Era of Computational Law' project (2019–2024). The research 
targets two forms of computational law: machine learning and blockchain 

Among her many publications, the most relevant for this series is:

Hildebrandt, Mireille. 2019. “Privacy as Protection of the Incomputable 
Self: From Agnostic to Agonistic Machine Learning.” Theoretical 
Inquiries in Law 20 (1): 83–121.

Extended response by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun.

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is Research Chair in New Media at Simon Fraser 
University, Vancouver. Since its launch in 2019, she leads the Digital 
Democracies Institute which aims to integrate research in the humanities 
and data sciences to address questions of equality and social justice in 
order to combat the proliferation of online “echo chambers,” abusive 
language, discriminatory algorithms, and mis/disinformation by fostering 
critical and creative user practices and alternative paradigms for 

Among her many publications, the most relevant for this series is

Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong. 2021. Discriminating Data: Correlation, 
Neighborhoods, and the New Politics of Recognition. Cambridge, 
Massachusetts: The MIT Press. (in particular, the section on "proxies").

This is the first event of a three-part series of talks and workshops 
that explore ambiguity and data.

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