EthicAI=LabsEthicAI=Labs is a joint project by the Goethe-Institutes in Athens, Bucharest, Ankara, Sarajevo, Sofia, and Zagreb.
The project’s goal is to open a cross-genre space for critical conversation on AI and ethics in Southeast Europe. The main focus of the project is the ethical issues related to the development and use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. From opportunities for technological advancement and making life easier to threats such as surveillance, violation of privacy and personal data, propaganda, and fake news – these and many other topics are discussed by researchers, artists, programmers, and others.
The intersections between AI and ethics are at the core of EthicAI=Labs focus and research. The project was launched in 2021, when Goethe-Institutes from Southeastern Europe selected 18 young professionals in the arts, technology, and humanities to explore the topic and implement collaborative projects. The results were 6 projects that were presented at the EthicAI=FORUM in November 2021 and then collected in a publication.
The second round of EthicAI=Labs combines online and offline activities aiming to create a cross-genre space for critical conversation on AI and ethics in Southeast Europe.
Among the topics tackled in the project is the interrelation of AI with creativity, natural language processing, chatbots, bias, and healthcare.
The scope of the project is interdisciplinary, and the format is an open laboratory for cross-genre experiments. The project participants are young professionals and students from the fields of art, humanities, and technology based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, and Romania. They are invited to share and elaborate on their understanding and contribution to the research topics from the point of view of ethics in the context of politics, economics, and culture.
To strengthen collaboration and encourage networking, the project format is hybrid, including a three-day in-person ideathon in Sofia, online workshops, and online events open to the public with artists, researchers, and activists.
The selection phase includes an open call for individuals from the six countries to pre-select 18 people to join a 3-day ideathon in Sofia. The participants at the ideathon work together in teams and pitch their team’s project idea at the end of the event. The teams formed during the ideathon develop their ideas with the mentorship of 3 experts from the respective fields in the region: Mihaela Constantinescu (Romania), Marinos Koutsomichalis (Greece), and Fatih Sinan Esen (Turkey).
The four teams receive mentors who advise them on the process during three workshops taking place in June, September, and October 2022. The teams receive funding to develop their projects. The final collaborative works are presented at a final virtual event in November 2022, when a jury will choose one project that will receive additional funding to be presented in the future.
In addition, EthicAI=Labs 2022 hosts series of events open to the public, such as artists’ talks and a panel discussion with NGO and university representatives in order to gain wider publicity for the project and to have a stronger impact.
EthicAI=LABS Contact - Adriana Rangelova
Adriana's interest in the region of Southeast Europe and in new technologies' effects on our daily lives is the main reason for her joining the project as a coordinator.
EthicAI=LABS Contact - Galina Dimitrova-Dimova
Galina Dimitrova-Dimova has extensive experience in the field of media and digital arts being a curator of InterSpace Media Art center in Sofia (1999-2008) and co-curator and organiser of DA Fest International Digital Art festival (since 2009). She teaches in the MA Programme of Digital Arts in the National Academy of Art In Sofia and curates and organizes other projects as a freelance curator.