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Accepted Paper:

Cryptic Commons: anthropological engagements with data-security, socio-mathematics, and interventions across scientific disciplines  
Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen (Aalborg University) Adrienne Mannov (Aarhus University)

Paper short abstract:

We present the Cryptic Commons, a co-created space where cyber-physical systems are objects for transdisciplinary research and public debate. What new tasks do AI and the digital era present for anthropology? How can anthropology critically and caringly engage with these new socio-technical forms?

Paper long abstract:

CRYPTIC COMMONS is a space and concept that is under development and is formed through relations– a kind of socio-technical construction site – where data security, digitalization, cryptography and cyber-physical systems are objects for transdisciplinary debate and co-creation.

It is conceived and constructed by anthropologists and with cryptographers and engineers during a research project aiming to develop algorithms and protocols that secure data and privacy in future cyber-physical systems. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among cryptographers and engineers the Cryptic Commons has, so far, materialized as a physical and online exhibition, a science TV series, and an art film, as well as an interdisciplinary research workshop.

In this paper, we present and perform elements from the Cryptic Commons, and through these materializations we ask what new tasks, methods, modalities, and approaches AI and the digital era present for anthropology, and how anthropology can engage critically and caringly with these new socio-technical forms. Co-creating the Cryptic Commons paves the way for new anthropological engagements into interdisciplinary work in the fields of datafication and social life in future cyber-physical systems.

We argue that new modes of engagement are needed, in academia as well as in public spaces, for the building of vocabularies and practices that can secure the well-being of communities and social structures. Socio-mathematics is one vocabulary to develop for the construction of a data-democracy. Enter with us into the Ideal, the Real and the Actual of interdisciplinary Futures Anthropology!

Panel P01a
AI and interdisciplinary Futures Anthropology
  Session 1 Monday 6 June, 2022, -