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Alex Taylor

Scholar in residence October 2023 – October 2024

Alex Taylor just joined the Institute of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He’s been contributing to the areas of Science and Technology Studies and Human-Computer Interaction for over twenty years and has held positions in both academic and industrial research, most recently as Centre Co-Director of HCID at City University of London, and in the past at the University of Surrey, Goldsmiths, Xerox, Google and Microsoft Research. Showing a broad fascination for the entanglements between social life and machines, his research ranges from empirical studies of technology in everyday life to ethnographic investigations of computation in the life sciences. Largely, his interests are in how digital technologies are co-constitutive of forms of knowing and being and, as a consequence, provide a basis for fundamental transformations in society. Alex Taylor has published widely across these areas with over 70 conferences, journals and book publications.

Alex’s long-term research ambition is to develop and expand on the idea of a Reparative AI within academic research and public and civic realms (e.g., in organisational governance and public policy). Much of the work in ‘ethical AI’ is focused on using technological solutions to mitigate harms and achieve a unitary or singular version of fairness. This presupposes an endpoint that is in some way outside of situated experience, neutral even. A reparative AI, by contrast, seeks to redress the harms that come with the erasures of values and experiences and imagine social and technological futures that might just be more expansive – digital futures that are open and attentive to diverse and multiple ways of being in the world.

As a Digital Futures scholar, Alex will work with the Digital Futures environment members to explore this idea of reparative AI, seeking concrete cases to investigate and intervene in.



Photo of Rob Comber

Rob Comber

Associate Professor, Division of Media Technology and Interaction Designs at KTH, Former Main supervisor: How people are making the city smart – the role of algorithms in urban space, Digital Futures Faculty

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