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Featured Events

Fall Distinguished Lecture with James Suzman: Poison Arrows and Other 'Killer Apps'

Nov 2, 2017

Please join the Tech Policy Lab for a lecture on a hunter-gatherer perspective on technology and our future with James Suzman on Thursday, November 2 at 7:00 pm in Kane Hall Room 120.
James Suzman

The success of a civilization can be measured by its longevity. In that light, Southern Africa’s hunting and gathering San (“Bushmen”) are the most enduring (and successful) civilization in the history of modern Homo sapiens. What tools do the San use and how has their tool use contributed to such longevity?  What of modern society?  Despite technological advancements that have enabled levels of productivity unimaginable a hundred years ago, the modern world faces broad sustainability challenges.  How might a better understanding of sustainable hunter-gatherer societies like the San help us respond to the social and economic impacts of modern technology, including challenges from increasing automation and computerization?  How might such understanding help us to meet broader sustainability challenges?

With a head full of Laurens van der Post and half an anthropology degree from St Andrews University under his belt, James Suzman hitched a ride into Botswana’s eastern Kalahari in June 1991.  He has been living and working with Kalahari peoples ever since.  Dr. Suzman holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Edinburgh University which he was awarded in 1996. Since then he has lived and worked with every major Bushman group in southern Africa, from the war ravaged Vasakele !Kung of southern Angola during the final phases of that civil war, to the highly marginalized Hai//om of Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Dr. Suzman is the Author of Affluence without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen, published by Bloomsbury in 2017.


Spring Distinguished Lecture with Kate Crawford: AI Now

Mar 6, 2018

Please join the Tech Policy Lab for a lecture on the social and political questions for artificial intelligence with Kate Crawford on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00 pm in Kane Hall.
Trevor Timm, Kate Crawford

The impact of early AI systems is already being felt, bringing with it challenges and opportunities, and laying the foundation on which future advances in AI will be integrated into social and political domains. The potential wide-ranging impact makes it necessary to look carefully at the ways in which these technologies are being applied now, whom they’re benefiting, and how they’re structuring our social, economic, and interpersonal lives.

Kate Crawford is the co-founder (with Meredith Whittaker) of the AI Now Initiative, a New York-based research center working across disciplines to understand the social and economic implications of artificial intelligence. She is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City, a Visiting Professor at MIT’s Center for Civic Media, and a Senior Fellow at NYU’s Information Law Institute. Her research addresses the social implications of large scale data, machine learning and AI. Recent publications address the topics of data discrimination, social impacts of artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and due process, ethical review for data science, and algorithmic accountability.


Previous Events

Modern Surveillance Discussion with Author Jennifer Granick

Feb 21, 2017

12:30-1:20 pm.
William H. Gates Hall Room 119.
Lunch provided.

Join the Tech Policy Lab for a discussion on modern surveillance with author Jennifer Granick. She recently won the 2016 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize for her book American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, And What to Do About It. She is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Soci­ety. From 2007 to 2010 she served as the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. (more…)

Legal and Governance Implications of Artificial Intelligence

May 24, 2016

The Tech Policy Lab is delighted to announce a public workshop on the law and policy of artificial intelligence, co-hosted by the White House and UW’s School of Law. The event places leading artificial intelligence experts from academia and industry in conversation with government officials interested in developing a wise and effective policy framework for this increasingly important technology. The event is free and open to the public but requires registration. See more at:

Tech Talk – Tor with Shari Steele

Apr 26, 2016

The Tech Policy Lab is hosting Shari Steele for a talk about Tor. Shari Steele is the current Executive Director of the Tor Project and recent past Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The event will take place at the University of Washington in William H. Gates Hall room 119, Wednesday, April 27 starting at 12:30.