Emerging Tech for Activists

Amnesty International and Fight for the Future host sporadic seasons of salons on emerging tech. Our first season, Web3 for Activists, is available now. Season 2, Generative AI for Activists, is happening throughout 2023.

Join us to hear technologists and human rights organizers hash out the best ways to intentionally shape a human-first future for the web. 

The intent of the series is to have a critical discussion of the place that human rights activists can take in shaping these controversial emerging technologies, and to create a space where we can learn from each other.


Human Rights & Generative AI: Salon #5

October 18, 2023 | Generative AI & Accessibility

We’ve all heard generative AI’s proponents talk about how these new tools enhance accessibility—but do they really? There is no one better to ask than the disabled artists and creators who have lived experience of engaging with AI tools. In this salon, we look forward to exploring the benefits and shortcomings of generative AI when it comes to accessibility—with the people whose perspectives matter most. Panelists were:

Chazz Gold
Kezia Barnett

Human Rights & Generative AI: Salon #4

September 21, 2023 | Generative AI & Inequality

Corporations, governments and international and multilateral institutions are increasingly reliant on algorithmic decisions. Opaque algorithms determine everything from what you see on social media to who is eligible for government benefits. Yet these algorithms and artificial intelligence systems, including generative AI, are neither neutral nor objective—they often reflect existing societal inequities. Join us for a conversation with technologists, researchers, and activists about the various ways that new and emerging technologies risk amplifying inequality. Panelists were:

• Eliza Campbell, Technology and Inequality Researcher at Amnesty International
• Amos Toh, Senior Researcher, Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights at Human Rights Watch
• Gabrielle Rejouis, Advocate for Worker Privacy at United 4 Respect
• Ayden Férdeline, Researcher and Policy Analyst

Human Rights & Generative AI: Salon #3

July 31, 2023 | The future of Social Media & Generative AI

Generative AI is set to enable a new generation of social media—supercharging not only remarkable new ways of being social online, but also the magnitude of disinformation campaigns and other online threats. Now is the time to consider how human rights advocates might promote more just, creative, and diverse social media platforms and experiences. But we also must take action to guard against the ways Generative AI will be misused to do harm. Panelists were:

Brandi Geurkink, Senior Manager at Mozilla Foundation
Ramneet Bhullar, Digital Rights Campaigner, Open Media
Tim Boucher, AI Author with Trust & Safety Background
Sarah Oh, Co-Founder of T2, former Human Rights Advisor at Twitter

Human Rights & Generative AI: Salon #2

May 30, 2023 | Creators and AI

In this salon on Generative AI, we explore creators’ rights and AI with perspectives from artists, poets, human rights activists, creators, and researchers. Panelists were:

Human Rights & Generative AI: Salon #1

March 23, 2023 | Human Rights Hopes & Concerns

In this inaugural salon on Generative AI, we explored the technology at a 101 level and with a human rights lens. What is it? What might it do for us, or to us? Panelists were:


Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #10

November 29, 2022 | Privacy Concerns with Digital Cash

This salon brought together the human rights and Web3 communities to discuss the privacy concerns raised by government-backed digital currencies. Panelists were:

  • Albert Fox Cahn, Founder and Executive Director of Surveillance Technology Oversight Project
  • Jennifer Lassiter, Executive Director of The Digital Dollar Project
  • Rohan Grey, Assistant Professor at Willamette University College of Law
  • Alexandria LaRue, Co-Executive Chapter Director at Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #9

October 25, 2022 | The Environmental Impact of Web3

This salon brought together the human rights and Web3 communities to discuss the environmental impact of Web3 both today and going forward, including how large NGOs are grappling with these issues. Panelists were:

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #8

September 2022 | Open Source Software & The Right to Code

This salon focused on open source software and discussed how the right to code is getting caught in the crossfire of attempts to regulate cryptocurrencies and privacy tools. Speakers were:

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #7

July 2022 | Web3 and Reproductive Rights

This salon discussed abortion activism and emerging technologies. Panelists talked about how tools like DAOs and NFTs can support reproductive rights, including examples of existing web 3 initiatives to support abortion rights. They also discussed DAO fundraising successes for activists on the ground, important privacy concerns at the dawn of the post-Roe era and more. Speakers were:

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #6

June 2022 | How might we regulate web3?

Panelists in this salon discussed effective ways and options for regulating web 3 technologies. Speakers were:

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #5

May 2022 | The Future of Privacy

Panelists in this salon discussed positive and negative privacy implications of web 3. Speakers were:

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #4

April 2022 | Anti-colonial perspectives in building the next generation internet

This salon talked about how to equitably collaborate with traditional marginalized communities to build better technology, and what better technology means from the non-white perspective. Speakers were:

  • Tiara Roxanne, Postdoctoral Fellow at Data & Society, Indigenous Mestiza scholar and artist discussing trustworthy AI from de/anticolonial / Indigenous perspectives
  • Moisés Horta Valenzuela, sound artist, composer, music technologist, performer and electronic musician talking about demystifying AI from a border perspective
  • Amelia Winger-Bearskin, professor, artist, and technologist discussing antecedent technology and AI: ancestral Intelligence
  • antxnio graz, composer, sound artist and producer talking about web3 and decentralization from a queer perspective

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #3

March 2022 | What should we build?

This session sought to present some futures to fight for and principles that we can unite around as we engage with the next generation of the internet. Speakers were:

  • Emily Jacobi, Executive Director & Founder, Digital Democracy who shared about her team’s work building tools with Indigenous partners in the Amazon to focus on the following principles: accessibility, data sovereignty, environmental justice, and co-building tools.
  • Charley Johnson,Founder of Untangled, a newsletter and podcast about technology, people, and power talking about what Social Tokens are and how they could affect social movements
  • Maarten Walraven, Head of Operations & Production at SYMPHONY, co-editor of MUSIC x, & co-project lead Water & Music Academy discussing the reconsideration of value, ownership and community for musicians and fans engaging in web 3.
  • Clara Tsao, Founding Officer & Director for Filecoin Foundation & Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web sharing about human rights use cases with web3 and a number of the amazing project partners they are funding, along with impending challenges with a more decentralized web.

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #2

February 2022 | What could go right, what could go wrong?

This episode in the series explores technologies that have failed or succeeded in promoting human rights for web2, and what they can demystify about how to organize for a better next version of the Internet. This was partly inspired by Rebecca MacKinnon’s piece ‘What to get right first’ for Starling Labs. Speakers were:

  • Jasmine Sun, Cofounder and Director of Reboot discussing social media, social movements, and what web3 can learn
  • Anil Dash, CEO of Glitch and Member of the Board at Electronic Frontier Foundation discussing the patterns of Web 2.0 that every web3 advocate should know about.
  • Cory Doctorow, Author & Activist discussing the problems of validating “oracles,” on the lines discussed here
  • Nathan Schneider, Prof of Media Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder discussing the relationship between crypto and the co-op tradition—points of overlap and points of divergence, and how we might use these tools to enable more economic democracy.

Human Rights & Web3 for Activists: Salon #1

January 2022 | What are the metaverse and web3, and how could the next generation of the Internet be different?

Panelists in this salon discussed their current orientations and thoughts around emerging Web3 technologies like blockchain, the metaverse and more. Speakers were::

  • Wendy Hanamura, DWeb & Internet Archive answering the question “what is web3?”
  • Jon Callas, Electronic Frontier Foundation discussing the hopes and perils of specific web3 technologies
  • Jennifer Brody, Access Now talking about how the next generation of the internet could alter global human rights
  • Sarah Roth-Gaudette, Fight for the Future diving into “what’s happening now—a brief of civil society’s engagement with web3”