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    Knowledge Production in a Data Driven Society

    September 23, 2021

    Yoshiaki FUKAMI (Gakushuin University/Keio University)
    Itty ABRAHAM (National University of Singapore)
    Nadin HEÉ (Osaka University)
    moderated by Franz WALDENBERGER (DIJ)

    A video recording of this event is available on the DIJ YouTube channel

    Abstracts and Speakers

    Yoshiaki Fukami

    Knowledge Production – The Limits of Big Data and AI

    The presentation will discuss knowledge production in the context of platform business models, big data and artificial intelligence. The cost of generating, storing, and processing data has dropped significantly. However, with such technological advancement, it is possible to realize progress only in restricted areas. Three technological and social elements such as common data architecture, advanced trust framework and ethics by design, are necessary for sustainable knowledge production to realize a data driven society.

    Yoshiaki Fukami (Ph.D.) is a Specially Appointed Professor at Department of Management at Gakushuin University and Visiting Researcher at the School of Medicine at Keio University. He is a director of The Japan Society for Management Information. His specialization is in standardization strategy, platform strategy, and open collaborative innovation. He has contributed to the open data technical strategy of the government at the as a member of the Technical Committee of the Vitalizing Local Economy Organization by Open Data & Big Data, the Infrastructure for Multi-layer Interoperability Working group, the Research Committee for Interoperability of Public-sector Information, and the Technical Committee at the Open Data Promotion Consortium by the Information-Technology Promotion Agency, Japan. He is a topic editor of “Standards” journal. He has also contributed to web standardization activities at the World Wide Web Consortium. His recent publications include Artificial Intelligence for Social Good (Co-edited with Jiro Kokuro), Association of Pacific Rim Universities Limited (APRU) and Keio University, 2020.

    Nadin Heé

    Knowledge as a Commons in the Digital Age: Changing Patterns of Knowing and Empowerment

    The idea of knowledge commons is associated with the so-called Digital Age and assumes access to common-pool resources in the form of knowledge for the whole of humanity. At the same time, it raises questions of political epistemologies and power relations. This presentation will discuss conflicting notions of ownership and property rights in academia. On the one hand, I will shed light on increasing calls for epistemological decolonization of cultural knowledge dominated by the Global North. On the other hand, I will point to new ways of empowerment and authority of so-called indigenous knowledge. Finally, the presentation will reflect on how multiple ways of dealing with knowledge commons redirect knowing patterns in academia and what this means for the discipline’s future.

    Nadin Heé is a Professor of Global History at Osaka University. She was Associate Professor for Global History of Knowledge at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science after a visiting professorship at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and teaching at Zurich University. In her first book, she engages with the co-production and entanglement on imperial knowledge and colonial violence from a transimperial perspective in Taiwan under Japanese rule, published as Imperiales Wissen und koloniale Gewalt. Japans Herrschaft in Taiwan 1895-1945 (Campus Verlag, 2012), which was awarded the JaDe-Prize. Currently, she is interested in global commons and resources, particularly from a history of knowledge and environmental, historical perspective. Nadin Heé is working on a second monograph that deals with how tuna became a global commons. She has received grants and fellowships from the Max Weber Foundation, German National Foundation, Thyssen Foundation, Swiss National Foundation, Japan Research Council, University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto, Academia Sinica, Taipei, and the University of Munich.

    Itty Abraham

    Digital Worlds and the Reshaping of Public and Private

    This presentation will reflect on transformations of the boundary between public and private spheres as a result of digital transformations. Drawing on recently published work by younger scholars, I examine three different kinds of spaces where the impact of digitization has been profound: the city, the border, and the international. I use these examples to consider the following themes: digital platforms, convenience, and the private sphere; corporate responsibility and the use of AI in homeland security; state claims to biological sovereignty and international scientific collaboration. All three cases in different ways upset the desired separation of private and public spheres, hence, we need to consider the political implications of a “data driven society” for liberalism and democracy.

    Itty Abraham is professor and head of the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS). A political scientist, he was program director at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) from 1993-2005. Before moving to NUS in 2012, he taught at the University of Texas at Austin where he directed the South Asia Institute from 2006-2010. His scholarly writings have addressed nuclear power and its discontents, political interfaces of online and offline worlds, refugees and host communities, foreign policy and postcolonial studies. He is the author of two single-authored books, five edited volumes and journal special issues, and numerous articles and book chapters. In his personal and institutional capacities, Professor Abraham has received grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright Commission, US Dept. of Education, Ford, Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations and the Open Society Institute. He is currently immersed in Chinese science fiction.

    This event is part of the MWS Web Forum Series on The Digital Transformation.

    Related Research Projects

    The discourse on the digital transformation in Japan: an analysis based on the concept of data