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Governing AI: Politics, Ethics and UK and US ‘Geospatial Data Strategies’

Authors: Mark Boyle*, University of Liverpool
Topics: Political Geography, Economic Geography, Social Theory
Keywords: public policy, AI., Governance
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded




Profound global transformation is being wrought by the rise of artificial intelligence and a data revolution -
referred to variously as a Fourth Industrial Revolution, cyber-physical revolution, Industry 4.0 or Society 5.0.
Amidst both unwarranted boosterist hype and dystopian foreboding, there is an urgent need for improved
public understanding of the promises and perils of Industry 4.0: an old question is being given new life for
these times, how can technology be harnessed to serve public good? At the heart of this conversation will
inevitably reside questions of data ethics, integrity and law; a key international challenge will be how to
use AI to extract the full economic, social, and environmental value of big data (using data repositories, platforms,
licences and trusts) whilst maintaining public trust. Focussing upon the governance of geospatial data specifically (defined as data tied
to a particular location) and undertaking a comparative study of the UK Cabinet Office's National Geospatial Data Commission's
National Geospatial Strategy and the US Geospatial Data Act 2018 overseen by the Department of Interior Federal Geospatial Data Committee,
this project will scope the politics and ethics of new models of data-stewardship to increase access by AI to geospatial data.
It will reach conclusions concerning the distinctive challenges and opportunities which attend to the 'opening up' of geospatial data to
modes of algorithmic governance.

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