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Accepted Paper:

Pluriversal Data Justice: The struggle for epistemic inclusion and emancipation in data and digital infrastructures.  
Michael Katell (The Alan Turing Institute) David Leslie (The Alan Turing Institute)

Paper short abstract:

The historically powerful wield authority in data innovation ecosystems under the assumption that they are best positioned to solve the world's many problems. We argue for a "pluriversal data justice' that advances diverse forms of knowledge and experience in pursuit of collective well-being.

Paper long abstract:

The collection and use of data, and the presence of digital infrastructures, are undeniable features of contemporary life. And yet the maldistribution of their benefits and harms seems progressively more to concentrate wealth and power in a handful of nations and multinational corporations that extract value from and act with impunity upon the rest. Corresponding to this is a techno-triumphalist conceit: The historically powerful wield authority in data innovation ecosystems largely under the assumption that they are best positioned to solve the world's many problems, including those for which they bear responsibility. These include the destabilising and necrotic forces of environmental degradation, "major power" militarisation, and expanding socio-economic inequity. Where data-driven technologies reproduce these patterns, we argue for the urgency of a "pluriversal data justice" that advances diverse forms of knowledge and experience in pursuit of collective well-being.

A pluriversal data justice demands the integration of absent epistemologies into dominant modes of theory and practice by accounting for the 'sociology of absence'; the systematic exclusion of voices whose experience of coloniality and oppression are at odds with Global North claims of epistemic universalism and technological achievement. The collection and operationalisation of data strongly feature colonialist and extractive logics and the erasure or exoticisation of local experience. Pluriversal data justice reflexively relocates data practices and the experience of digital infrastructures as broadly inclusive and interculturally emancipatory, pointing the way towards an integrative epistemology suited to the work of ensuring the survival of humanity and achieving its collective liberation.

Panel P35b
‘The future belongs to us’: The data justice turn and the transformation of AI ethics
  Session 1 Tuesday 7 June, 2022, -