This event is open to Betaworks Studios members only.
Innovative technologies hold transformative potential for Human Rights Watch to tackle the major human rights problems of our time-armed conflict, forced displacement, environmental devastation, poverty, inequality, & discrimination. We believe that using technology to help solve the hardest problems in the world will enable us to leverage our scale & experience to advance the global movement for justice.
At the same time, new technologies also threaten fundamental freedoms & economic rights. Artificial intelligence enables mass surveillance. Algorithm-based decisions in police stations, courthouses, & workplaces reproduce old forms of discrimination in new ways. Weapons could soon operate without human control. Meanwhile, digitized misinformation spreads from Washington, Beijing, & Moscow, stoking fear & demonizing minorities.
Human Rights Watch has exposed the collection of DNA & voice samples for China's biometric database of more than 40 million records, violating privacy & targeting dissent. We have documented how companies are developing a mass surveillance system that enables authorities to monitor activities deemed suspicious & carry on with a campaign of repression in the northwest region of Xinjiang, where an estimated million Turkic Muslims are indefinitely detained & abused.
Globally, we are working to ensure technology companies respect human rights & develop accountable & transparent practices through engaging with social media companies, pushing for government regulation of internet & social media platforms, & establishing industry guidelines on free expression & privacy.
Join us for a conversation with Human Rights Watch's experts to learn more about our global work on & with new technologies, including artificial intelligence, surveillance, & privacy, as well as how we use & include new technologies in our research & advocacy.
Nic Dawes is responsible for the management of Human Rights Watch across all departments, as well as strategic & operational planning. He was previously the organization's head of Media. Prior to HRW, Dawes served as the Chief Content Officer at India's Hindustan Times, & Editor-in-Chief at South Africa's Mail & Guardian Newspaper. He is the recipient of Sikuvile, Mondi, Taco Kuiper & National Press Club awards. As chairperson of the South African National Editor's Forum, he has been an activist for press freedom & freedom of information in his home country, working to forestall regulatory & legislative efforts to curtail media independence.
Sophie Richardson is the China Director at Human Rights Watch. A graduate of the University of Virginia, the Hopkins-Nanjing Program, & Oberlin College, Dr. Richardson is the author of numerous articles on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization, & human rights in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, & Vietnam. She has testified before the European Parliament & the US Senate & House of Representatives. She has provided commentary to the BBC, CNN, the Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Policy, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, & the Washington Post. Dr. Richardson is the author of China, Cambodia, & the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, an in-depth examination of China's foreign policy since 1954's Geneva Conference, including rare interviews with policy makers.
Arvind Ganesan is the director of the Business & Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. He leads the organization's work to expose human rights abuses linked to business & other economic activity globally, hold institutions accountable, & develop standards to prevent future abuses. Ganesan has also worked to develop industry standards to ensure companies & other institutions respect human rights. He is a founder of the Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights for the oil, gas, & mining industries & is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative (GNI) for the internet & telecommunications industries, where he also serves on the board. Ganesan has helped to develop standards for international financial institutions such as the World Bank, & regularly engages governments in an effort to develop mandatory rules or strengthen existing standards.