The project (which is now completed) was set up as a preliminary exercise in assessing prospective harms vs prospective benefits associated with ADM as a first step to amelioration. It took a two-pronged approach: firstly, focusing on individual and social harms/costs that may be associated with automated or semi-automated data processing (including collection, retention, dissemination, and other uses of data) – versus prospective benefits; and secondly, assessing the levels of risk of these harms ranging from nebulous to very significant (and acknowledging there may be
uncertain outcomes and uneven distributions). The overall aim was thus to have a fuller appreciation of harms and risks as a precursor to thinking practically about amelioration/mitigation of costs.
More specifically, the project was geared to questions of elaborating and understanding the range of prospective harms associated with loss of control over data processing for individuals, groups and society, and indeed the entirety of the living world, as a first step to finding solutions such as changes in law, or social practices, or business methods, or technologies (or some combination of these).
The principal activity of the project was to have a series of workshops planned, organised and hosted by the coordinators CI Richardson, AI Roberts and Postdoc Jiménez (with administrator Astari.Kusumawardani providing support). The workshops featured the work of diverse ADM+S CIs, AIs, Researchers and Affiliates and adopted an intense mode of interrogation and discussion along with suggestions. The aim was to assist ADMS personnel with the preparation of reports, books and scholarly articles (as well as share insights and ideas).