Governance of AI Seminar Series

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The Frontier of Democracy: Audrey Tang on Taiwan’s digital democracy, collaborative civic technologies, and beneficial information flows

Tuesday, 9th March, 1000-1130 GMT, 1800-1930 GMT+8 (0200–0330 PT, 0500–0630 EST)

Hélène Landemore (Yale) will be a discussant for this event Allan Dafoe (GovAI) will moderate. A recording will be made available after the event for those who cannot make the live session. 

Register here.

Following the 2014 Sunflower Movement protests, Audrey Tang—a prominent member of the civic social movement g0v—was headhunted by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration to become the country’s first Digital Minister. In this webinar, Audrey will discuss collaborative civic technologies in Taiwan, their potential to improve governance and beneficial information flows, with Hélène Landemore (Yale) as a discussant.

vTaiwan is designed to facilitate constructive conversation and consensus-building between diverse opinion groups. It includes a combination of crowdsourcing facts and evidence, and mass deliberation using machine learning-enabled software pol.is. To date, the process has been used by government ministries and representatives, scholars, business leaders, civil society organizations, and citizens. Over 30 cases have been discussed, leading to decisive government action on topics including Financial Techand Uber. 

Such tools are examples of information systems that create socially beneficial information flows. Enabling productive uses of information, without also enabling undesired misuse, is a goal GovAI calls “structured transparency.” Taiwan’s experience constitutes an exciting example of structured transparency’s potential.

Audrey Tang is Taiwan’s Digital Minister in charge of social innovation, open governance, and youth engagement. They are Taiwan’s first transgender cabinet member and became the youngest minister in the country’s history at the age of 35. Tang is known for civic hacking and strengthening democracy using technology. They served on the Taiwanese National Development Council’s Open Data Committee and are an active contributor to g0v, a community focused on creating tools for civil society. Audrey plays a key role in combating foreign disinformation campaigns and in formulating Taiwan’s COVID-19 response.

Hélène Landemore is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Her research and teaching interests include democratic theory, political epistemology, theories of justice, the philosophy of social sciences (particularly economics), constitutional processes and theories, and workplace democracy.