206. Big data and artificial intelligence global asymmetries: infrastructures, skills, uses, value and side effects

Henry Chavez; Maía Belén Albornoz; Bárbara Magalhães;

The deployment of big data and artificial intelligence technologies have been reshaping the global landscape over the last two decades. New economic actors, new institutional configurations, new dependencies and new asymmetries are emerging. U.S. and Chinese companies and institutions control most of the infrastructure, knowledge and skills needed to develop and apply these technologies. Pulled by a silent war between these two powers, the Global South, is being forced to follow a path that recreates dependency, colonialism and extractivism in a new light. Public and private actors in these countries have no choice but to accept the turnkey solutions offered by these large technology companies. This process is widening the digital divide between the North and the South. In this context, we invite papers that explore and discuss the global asymmetries created, triggered, increased or derived from the deployment and use of these technologies in different contexts, especially in the Global South. We are interested in discussing how differently these technologies are applied in the North and in the South? What infrastructures do they use and mobilize and how are they distributed? How does knowledge and know-how circulate and mobilize between the North and the South and between academia, the public sector and private companies? How is value produced, extracted and exploited in different contexts? How different are the social or environmental side effects of these technologies in the North and the South?

Contact: henry.chavez@gmx.com, balbornoz@flacso.edu.ec, moca.barbara@gmail.com

Keywords: Transnational STS, Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning, Infrastructure

Published: 04/07/2023