COVID-19, A.I.,Apps, and Fundamental Rights: A Transatlantic Dialogue


A.I.,Apps, and Fundamental Rights: A Transatlantic Dialogue

Live: May 5, 2020 - h. 17:00 pm

The seminar will be live-streamed  on You Tube at "Aula Rostagni UniPadova DFA"

Fighting the pandemic is pitting health and privacy against each other in largely unprecedented ways. A conversation between two prominent legal thinkers will compare the approaches to contact tracing apps and mass surveillance in the United States and the European Union.

We will begin the seminar by asking our guests the following questions:

Within the West, many countries and supranational legal systems are struggling to find ways to reconcile the fight against the COVID-19 with the needs of preserving fundamental rights, such as privacy, mobility, etc. A lot of debates revolve around the deployment of AI-based technologies, which track down people and contagion, as they would make extreme physical constraints, such as lockdowns, unnecessary. What are the main legal issues within the EU and the U.S. that such possibilities need to face?

As we expect that the virus will stay with us for long, we are likely to need digital tools for long as well. Once the Schengen treaty returns in full force and EU citizens resort to moving quite freely within EU territories, the apps we are thinking of will ensure inter-state tracing? Is the US facing with analogous issues of decentralization?

It is rather frequent to hear the opinion that we are overestimating the issues of privacy, given the importance of health. Moreover, it is common parlance that the big tech companies already know so much about us, that is paradoxical to fear the Government and massive utilization of data to fight the virus. Are privacy issues almost fictional, in light of the tech giants’ omnipotence?

You can send questions for the speakers via email at “”. We will collect them until May 1, 2020.

conference speaker

Woodrow Hartzog

Professor of Law, Northeastern University, Boston

 Oreste Pollicino

Professor of Law, Bocconi University, Milano

Lessons from Archives: Strategies for Collecting Sociocultural Data in ML

Algorithmic Bias and Fairness

Strategies for Collecting Sociocultural Data in Machine Learning

WHEN: Monday 3 February 2020 at 1.30 pm
WHERE: Aula 1A150, Math Dept. "T. Levi-Civita"

A growing body of work shows that many problems in fairness, accountability, transparency, and ethics in machine learning systems are rooted in decisions surrounding the data collection and annotation process. We argue that a new specialization should be formed within machine learning that is focused on methodologies for data collection and annotation: efforts that require institutional frameworks and procedures. Specifically for sociocultural data, parallels can be drawn from archives and libraries.

Archives are the longest standing communal effort to gather human information and archive scholars have already developed the language and procedures to address and discuss many challenges pertaining to data collection such as consent, power, inclusivity, transparency, and ethics privacy. We discuss these five key approaches in document collection practices in archives that can inform data collection in sociocultural machine learning.

conference speaker

Timnit Gebru

Timnit Gebru is the technical co-lead of the Ethical Artificial Intelligence Team at Google. She works on algorithmic bias and data mining. Timnit earned her doctorate under the supervision of Fei-Fei Li at Stanford University in 2017. She is an advocate for diversity in technology and is the cofounder of Black in AI, a community of black researchers working in artificial intelligence.

Next Future Transportation

Next Future Transportation

WHEN: Tuesday 14 January 2020 at 2.30 pm
WHERE: Aula Rostagni, Physics and Astronomy Dept.

NEXT journey is a personal, scientific and professional venture. Starting from a scientific perspective it became a real product and service from Italy to Silicon Valley and Dubai. NEXT is a new mobility paradigm, based on modular vehicles that can be a taxi, a bus and an in motion connection hub infrastructure, creating a real time flexible network that optimize ubiquity, price, traffic, energy consumption and comfort.

conference speaker

Tommaso Gecchelin

Tommaso Gecchelin is a physicist and industrial designer from Padua, in Italy. He’s the founder, inventor and CTO of Next Future Transportation inc. developing modular autonomous pods. His mission is to merge science and design to create useful and elegant solutions to solve major world problems in the field of logistics and transportation, politics and decision making, environment and sustainability.