Payal Arora

Digital Anthropologist

Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist, a TEDx speaker, and an author of award-winning books, including ‘The Next Billion Users’ with Harvard Press. Her expertise lies in user experience in the Global South and inclusive design. Forbes named her the “next billion champion” and the “right kind of person to reform tech.” She has consulted for numerous organizations including Adobe, Spotify, UNHCR, GE, HP, and many others. She is a Erasmus University Professor, Academic Director at the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics, and Co-Founder of FemLab, a feminist future of work initiative.

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Decolonizing Creative Labor in the age of AI

Creative AI has got us asking existential questions of what makes us human. To crack the code, you need to crack the culture that makes us who we are. Who and what is creative remains largely disconnected from diverse and global cultural norms, rendering existing technology suboptimal and even unusable to the world’s majority. Creativity has long been dictated by the aesthetic taste, values, needs, concerns, and aspirations of the West. Today, India and China alone account for the majority of the world’s users. The Global South are fast shaping data systems in ways that remain underexamined and siloed as “Rest of World” among industry and government folks. With the rise of the creator economy across sectors, questions abound on creative rights, provenance, fairness, labor, and representation. This talk discusses concerns around digital labor, data materiality, media literacies, creative value, and online expression. In doing so, it sets a pathway towards designing inclusive and intersectional systems that transcend borders.

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Rosalind Stage