Social Justice and AI Workshop Placement, a blog post by Ralph Ward

My name is Ralph Ward and I am currently studying for a Masters in Anthropology at the University of Bristol. I have just completed a 4-month placement supporting the development and operation of a Social Justice and AI Workshop for the GW4 Data Science Network .

I am just about to start research for my dissertation exploring the notion of Ethnic Invisibility among diasporic Filipinos living in the United Kingdom. Being half Filipino myself, I have always been curious about my heritage. With the world becoming an increasingly transnational community, I believe that conversations about ethnic identity and heritage are incredibly important. My research interests also include museums, heritage work and conservation management. Completing this placement has allowed me to take away many new skills in IT and data population as well as developed interpersonal, time management and problem-solving skills. I am certain that these skills will assist me with the completion of my dissertation project as well as future employment prospects.

One of the main things that stood out to me when organising the workshop was the importance of teamwork, especially when it comes to planning an event online. Although  due to the COVID 19 restrictions we were not able to meet in person, the team was extremely proactive in making sure we stayed connected virtually. This was valuable and helped me feel part of the team. I am extremely grateful for the level of responsibility that was given to me during my time with JGI, right from the initial brainstorming stage.  I was involved in the background research of prospective attendees, the event planning itself and assisted in running the event on the day.

Overall, I feel that the workshop was a great success. There was a huge turnout from a range of disciplines within the GW4 network and external organisations. The workshop brought about a series of productive speed-networking sessions which gave lots of food for thought for potential collaborative ideas. The workshop was filled with a range of talks from topics like algorithmic bias in decision making, data justice in Mexico’s multiveillant society and Networking With Care: Exploring Data and AI Ethics research practices                            

I would like to thank Kate Robson Brown and Patty Holley from the Jean Golding Institute for providing the opportunity to work on such an exciting event and lastly Chiara, Elaine and Lily for being such a fantastic team to work with!

Ralph Ward


Screenshot from Social Justice and AI Workshop