Digital Civil Society Lab
This project is supported by the Stanford One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence and the Stanford Presence Center.
Smart home devices are diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and supervising children, pet avatars are watching over dementia patients, and chatbots are helping to treat veterans living with PTSD. Going forward, such “Intimate Al” will continue to supplement and replace human care on the promise that serious social problems can be solved by developing technologies of care that are cheap and accessible.
But Intimate Al affects core human values: it challenges how we think of privacy, compassion, trust, and the very concept of care itself. This workshop addresses conceptual, ethical, and political issues of coding caring before Intimate Al becomes widely implemented. The workshop aims to advance our understanding of the interactions between human values and these powerful emerging technologies, and to inform the debates taking place in policy, industry, the academy, and the public sphere about what role Al can and should play in caregiving.
Key driving questions of this work include:
The workshop will also keep in view a socioeconomic perspective to examine structural challenges arising from the automation of care work, such as:
To address these issues, the workshop will bring together participants from multidisciplinary backgrounds – practitioners and researchers alike- and diverse analytical frameworks, such as feminist ethics of care, bioethics, political theory, postcolonial theory, and labor theory. Rather than focusing on specific domains of care work, participants will first theorize and articulate the relational, physical, and psychological dimensions of care in order to propose when care can and should be automated. Participants will then articulate these values as design recommendations that amplify the benefits of Al within care work, while reducing the potential for harm. The workshop will prompt answers to these questions through group discussions and a design challenge.
The workshop is geared to produce deliverables of three forms: