AI technologies reinforce existing injustices and discrimination. Decision-making processes are increasingly being outsourced to algorithmic systems – by the police and in court, in schools and in job application procedures, in government offices, at border crossings, and elsewhere. With Dreaming Beyond AI, we aim to challenge both the way AI is used today, and the societal structures that uphold algorithmic oppression.
We use AI as a gateway to broader societal questions around marginalization, imagination, futurism, feminism, and how we experience the present. The goal is to de-center technology and create an experimental curated space for connection and coming together.
The website itself and the process through which it is created reflect our intentions and challenge deeply rooted ways of thinking, knowing and being in the digital realm. For instance, we intend to challenge the expectation of seamless design interfaces and fast, frictionless digital experience, as well as consumerist attitudes towards online information and media. As such, Dreaming Beyond AI is a collectively shaped and deeply relational experiment that draws inspiration from Ursula Le Guin's text ‘The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction’, adrienne maree brown's ‘emergent strategy’ framework, Arturo Escobar's ‘pluriverse’, the Design Justice Network, and the work of many others.
Dreaming Beyond AI's concept was birthed by Nushin Yazdani and Buse Çetin, but influenced and inspired by the works, thoughts, tireless love, care, and tenacity of many incredible feminist voices.
The web platform is designed and coded by Iyo Bisseck, and the communication strategy has been created by Sarah Diedro. Special advisors for Dreaming Beyond AI are Sarah Chander and Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer. Meera Ghani supported with the overall flow of the project, Zain Assaad helped with uploading, and Victoria Kure-Wu has worked on the UX quality assessment. Tadleeh provided the music for the Pluriverse.
Dreaming Beyond AI has been created in cooperation with ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Sabiha Keyif and Nina Frohm), and supported by Humanity in Action and the Alfred Landecker Foundation within the framework of the Landecker Democracy Fellowship as well as mur.at.
Iyo Bisseck is a designer, programmer, and artist. Her work explores biases that show the link between technologies and systems of domination, with a specific focus on racial bias in the realization of virtual agents.Through her work as a website designer, she also supports many initiatives to have a digital archive. As an artist, she is interested in creating alternative and collaborative narratives using virtual tools.
For Dreaming Beyond AI, Iyo has created the web design and undertook the technical realization of the platform.
Nushin Isabelle Yazdani is a transformation designer, artist, and AI design researcher. She works with machine learning, design justice, and intersectional feminist practices, and writes about the systems of oppression of the present and the possibilities for just and free futures. At Superrr Lab, Nushin works as a project manager on creating feminist tech policies. With her collective dgtl fmnsm, she curates and organizes community events at the intersection of technology, art, and design. Nushin has lectured at various universities, is a Landecker Democracy Fellow and a member of the Design Justice Network. She has been selected as one of 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics 2021.
For Dreaming Beyond AI, Nushin heads creative direction, and works on concept development and curation.
Maya Indira Ganesh is a scholar, educator, and practitioner who works at the intersection of digital technologies, culture, and society. She co-leads a Master’s program in AI, Ethics, and Society at the University of Cambridge, UK, and is a senior research fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. You can find an up-to-date list of her academic research and writing here, culture writing and essays here, and recent talks and public events here.
Maya earned a Drphil in Cultural Sciences (Kulturwissenschaften) from Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany in 2022. Her doctoral work examined the re-shaping of what we mean by the ‘ethical’ and the shifting role of the human in the emergence of the driverless car. Her current research-pedagogy asks what kinds of learning and teaching methods and materials contribute to the shaping of expertise in shaping AI technologies as ethical, reponsible, and political.
Before transitioning to a PhD and academia, Maya worked with feminist and digital rights NGOs on securing freedom of speech and expression online and offline for human rights defenders, journalists, and activists, chiefly at Tactical Tech.
Maya works as a practitioner writing about the digital, technology, and culture, collaborating with artists, critics, and designers, developing large-scale cultural symposia, and advising cultural institutions and curators. Her writing has been translated into Korean, Turkish, French, and German.
Maya has won fellowships and awards from the Media Cultures of Simulation (MECS) Institute for Advanced Study (2018), Digital Earth/Hivos (2020), the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar on Histories of AI (2021), and was a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre Resident Fellow on AI (2019).
R. Buse Çetin is an AI researcher, consultant, and creative. Buse worked with a variety of actors including foundations, non-profits, fashion-luxury-beauty brands, art institutions on the intersection of AI and topics such as feminism, equity, decoloniality, AI ethics and governance. Buse been featured on Forbes, delivered a Tedx talk, and was selected for 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics 2020 list and CIDOB Barselona 35 leaders under 35 list.
For Dreaming Beyond AI, Buse leads research and develops conceptual frameworks, she also works on curation and communication.
Sarah Diedro Jordão is a communications strategist, a social justice activist, and a podcast producer. She was formerly a UN Women and Youth Ambassador, has served as a strategic advisor to the North-South Center of the Council of Europe on intersectionality in policymaking. Sarah currently works as a freelance consultant in storytelling, communications strategy, event moderation, and educational workshop creation.
For Dreaming Beyond AI, Sarah has led the communications strategy and implementation.
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Dreaming Beyond AI is a space for critical and constructive knowledge, visionary fiction & speculative art and community-organising.
This website project uses AI as a gateway to broader societal questions around marginalisation, imagination, futurism, feminism and how we experience the present. The goal of the project is to de-center technology and use it as a tool rather than main instrument for connection and a coming together. It is an experiment to a curated space where people enter with a shared sense of values and agreements.