Reading up on AI in Southeast Asia

Reading up on AI in Southeast Asia

"Branding Artificial Intelligence" by Dan Sherratt is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
"Branding Artificial Intelligence" by Dan Sherratt is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

With the rise in the use of artificial intelligence in solving public-interest and public service issues on one side and the use of AI by the government for monitoring and surveillance on the other, it is urgent now more than ever to learn more about AI. The need to increase the level of awareness among citizens about issues related to AI and their communities can now be seen as essential.

The increased interest can already be seen in sectors outside of civil society. A Philippine youth group, for example, hosted digital rights discussions during times of public health crises like the current COVID-19 pandemic through a fully online conference.

Online discussions on AI and digital rights have also significantly increased, especially now that several countries in Southeast Asia have already declared lockdowns and people are tied to their laptops and mobile devices than before. These discussions include how civil society organizations can use AI for COVID-19 relief efforts, to how governments use AI to monitor dissent and bad statements on recent government efforts (or the lack of it) to respond to the ongoing health crisis.

With this, EngageMedia and Dr. Jun-E Tan, an independent researcher based in Malaysia, collaborated to produce an annotated bibliography for those who want to deepen their knowledge on AI and the Southeast Asia context.

This self-quarantine reading list contains a growing roster of bibliography links you can check out to learn more about general and conceptual aspects of AI, including AI ethics, its impact on human rights, and some policy recommendations related to AI.

Brief annotations of the linked papers are also included so that you can have a better idea of the content of the resource before actually clicking and checking it out. Links are also provided if you want to read up more about AI and surveillance, and if you want to have a more area-focused view of the situation, there are also dedicated resource links on that as well.

Do take note, however, that this annotated bibliography is still an ongoing project, and may, later on, include more links and readings, so be sure to check it out once in a while if you want an updated reading resource on AI.

AI Annotated Bibliography

Updated as of April 10, 2020

Now more than ever, it is important for citizens to equip themselves with the knowledge and the tools to protect themselves from being subjects of AI surveillance and other attacks. While reading more about the situation would be a big help, constant vigilance and multi-sector action are also important.

Civil society needs to sustain and, in some cases, intensify their advocacy against AI-related human rights attacks while pushing for better citizen engagement and education on AI, human rights, and digital rights.

With the public being distracted on the current public health crisis and with more and more ordinary citizens falling prey to AI-related surveillance and attacks, civil society needs to rise above the fray and put forward this issue as an urgent concern, or else more will be subjected to similar attacks and human rights abuses.

About the Author

Vino Lucero is a Project and Communications Officer at EngageMedia. He is a journalist based in Manila.