News / artificial intelligence

Bristol’s Anthropology and Technology Conference goes virtual for 2020

By ellie pipe, Tuesday Sep 1, 2020

Innovative thinkers in the social sciences, technology, business and public sector will come together for the annual Anthropology and Technology Conference 2020.

The Bristol-founded two-day event that aims to champion socially responsible artificial intelligence (AI) will move online this year when it returns on Friday, October 9 and Monday 12.

Delegates will explore the social and economic impact of AI-technology across fintech, health tech and Smart Cities, examining the opportunities as well as the risks and challenges.

Keynote speaker Nani Jansen Reventlow, a human rights lawyer and director of the Digital Freedom Fund, will address dismantling the systems of racism and colonisation embedded in digital technologies and how societies can create a better future for everyone.

Dawn Walter, founder of the Anthropology and Technology Conference, says: “This event brings together innovative thinkers in the social sciences, technology, business, and the public sector to exchange ideas, create networks and examine together how AI can be used responsibly without putting a brake on innovation.

“We want to create a better future where innovative digital technologies have a positive impact on people and society. Bristol is a brilliant home for the conference as it is full of tech innovation, thought leaders and people looking to innovate in a way which produces positive long-term results.”

After a successful first year, in which the conference attracted international visitors, organisers expect to broaden the reach with an online event.

Individual streams are being unveiled for fintech, health tech and Smart Cities, which will be run simultaneously throughout the day. The virtual format enables delegates to take part in all sessions and workshops, as well as provide opportunities for questions and networking.

After a successful inaugural year, the Anthropology and Technology Conference returns online for 2020 – photo ©Barbara Evripidou/

Phil Harvey, a senior cloud solution architect for data & AI one commercial partner, Microsoft UK, is speaking in the Smart Cities track.

He says: “We need the perspective of anthropologists and sociologists to ensure those building the technology are doing so in a responsible way. As a programmer for over 15 years, I believe we need to have that wider conversation.

“We have a right to advance the art of technology in many different ways and use what we can to best advantage. But that comes with this responsibility; we have a responsibility to the people who will be affected by this technology.”

Ticket prices range from £20 for students to £95 for corporate delegates and can be purchased via

Main photo ©Barbara Evripidou/

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