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K-State Today

October 11, 2019

Olivia Shen to present 'The Tyranny of Algorithms'

Submitted by Braylee Jones

The political science department, in collaboration with the Oz to Oz Australia Initiative, will host Olivia Mengqian Shen, a Fulbright scholar and visiting faculty from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the Australian government. She will present "The Tyranny of Algorithms" at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the Ekdahl Room at Regnier Hall.

Shen received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney and a Master of Public Policy from the Australian National University, where she graduated top of her class.

She has received many other accolades during her decade's worth of public service and schooling, such as winning the Thawley Scholarship to conduct research at Lowry Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies; being a research fellow with the U.S. Senate as part of the ANU's Congressional Research Fellowship Program; and receiving an Australian Day Award from the attorney general's department for achievement in public service.

Shen's primary interest and the topic of her discussion is in the ethics associated with the rapid global development and implementation of artificial intelligence, which are transforming societies in an unprecedented way. Depending on who you ask, an AI future promises to be exciting, idyllic, democratizing, dystopian, apocalyptic or somewhere in between. If Australia is to maximize the opportunities of an AI future and minimize the risks, appropriate policy settings need to be put in place now. Her project aims to develop recommendations for an Australian national AI strategy. By investigating private and public sector research on AI governance and ethics in the U.S., the project will develop an interdisciplinary framework for AI policy and identify opportunities for ongoing Australia-U.S. collaboration.