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NGI Forward SALON Foundationals: On Explainability with Beatrice Fazi

About this event

In this talk, M. Beatrice Fazi will present and discuss her latest philosophical work on the issue of explainability in AI. The talk will be based on her published article:

Fazi, M. Beatrice (2020) ‘Beyond Human: Deep Learning, Explainability and Representation’, Theory, Culture & Society. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276420966386

Article’s abstract: This article addresses computational procedures that are no longer constrained by human modes of representation and considers how these procedures could be philosophically understood in terms of ‘algorithmic thought’. Research in deep learning is its case study. This artificial intelligence (AI) technique operates in computational ways that are often opaque. Such a black-box character demands rethinking the abstractive operations of deep learning. The article does so by entering debates about explainability in AI and assessing how technoscience and technoculture tackle the possibility to ‘re-present’ the algorithmic procedures of feature extraction and feature learning to the human mind. The article thus mobilises the notion of incommensurability (originally developed in the philosophy of science) to address explainability as a communicational and representational issue, which challenges phenomenological and existential modes of comparison between human and algorithmic ‘thinking’ operations.

Speaker’s bio: Dr M. Beatrice Fazi is Lecturer in Digital Humanities in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Her research focuses on the ontologies and epistemologies produced by contemporary technoscience, particularly in relation to issues in artificial intelligence and computation and to their impact on culture and society. Dr Fazi has published extensively on the limits and potentialities of the computational method, on digital aesthetics and on the automation of thought. Her monograph Contingent Computation: Abstraction, Experience, and Indeterminacy in Computational Aesthetics was published by Rowman & Littlefield International in 2018.

This presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion on the epistemologies of AI, with Loretta Anania, M. Beatrice Fazi, Gaëlle Le Gars and Rob van Kranenburg.

M. Beatrice Fazi @m_b_fazi


Loretta Anania @LorettaAnania

Scientific officer at DG Connect, Next Generation Internet

Gaelle Le Gars

Independent Policy Analyst Specialising on intersecting Digital and Urban Policy

Rob van Kranenburg

Founder of #IoT Council @robvank

The event will be web streamed on the site of our partner ELONTECH, the MADE group.

The Salons reflect the views of the participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission but form part of the project’s overarching recommendations for the NGI and future European internet policy.

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
    Rv G
    Rob van Kranenburg

  • Guest speaker
    BF G
    Beatrice Fazi Dr.

    Lecturer in Digital Humanities School of Media, Arts and Humanities University of Sussex

  • Guest speaker
    LA G
    Loretta Anania

  • Team member
    Made Group non profit civil company

    for social innovation and creative synergies

MADE Group

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