Keynote Speakers


Rachel Adams

Empire of AI: How AI is Widening Global Inequality

Dr. Rachel Adams is an experienced leader in directing large regional and global projects relating to AI policy. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Global Index on Responsible AI and the AI4D African Observatory on Responsible AI. Before taking her post at Research ICT Africa, Rachael was a Chief Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, and previously the Senior Researcher for Civil and Political Rights at the South African Human Rights Commission. Rachel sits on numerous boards and expert panels including the UNESCO Expert Group on the Implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on AI in Ethics, the expert advisory board of an Ada Lovelace project on the future of AI and genomics, as well as the Independent Oversight Committee of the UK Home Office Surveillance Camera Commissioner on Automatic Number Plate Recognition. Rachel is an Associate Fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge; a Research Associate of the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London; and Research Associate at the Tayarisha: African Centre of Excellence for Digital Governance, University of Witwatersrand. She currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the South African Journal on Human Rights. Rachel has published widely on issues relating to AI policy, decolonisation, gender and human rights, with a particular focus on the African region. She is the author of Transparency: New Trajectories in Law (2020), and the lead author of Human Rights and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa (2021). Her work has featured in, amongst others, The New York Times, The Guardian, Marie Claire and La Croix


Sara Morais dos Santos Bruss

Uncertain Intelligences? anti-colonial and queer identity formations in the socio-technical imaginary.

Sara Morais dos Santos Bruss is a cultural and media theorist, and curator at the HKW, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. She works on intersections of feminist and anti-colonial art and political practices, digital technologies, and narrations of (human and non-human) subjectivity. Sara is a board member of diffrakt. Centre for theoretical peripherie and an editor at the German language review magazine kritisch-lesen.de.


Alex Gil

Alex Gil is Senior Lecturer II and Associate Research Faculty of Digital Humanities in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University, where he teaches introductory and advanced courses in digital humanities, and runs project-based learning and collective research initiatives. Before joining Yale, Alex served for ten years as Digital Scholarship Librarian at Columbia University, where he co-created and nurtured the Butler Studio and the Group for Experimental Methods in Humanistic Research. His research interests include Caribbean culture and history, digital humanities and technology design for different infrastructural and socio-economic environments, and the ownership and material extent of the cultural and scholarly record. He is currently senior editor of archipelagos journal, co-organizer of The Caribbean Digital annual conference, and co-principal investigator of the Caribbean Digital Scholarship Collective, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation. Over the past decade, he has been a prolific producer and contributing team member of many recognized digital humanities projects and scholarly software, including Torn Apart/Separados, In The Same Boats and (Un)Silencing Slavery. His scholarly articles have appeared in several essay collections and refereed journals around the world, including Genesis (France), the Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, and Revista de Investigaciones Literarias y Culturales (Venezuela).  His forthcoming edition and translation of the lost, original version of Aimé Césaire’s “…..Et les chiens se taisaient” is forthcoming from Duke Press.


Bill Hart-Davidson

Mixing and Mastering Genre Signals: Generative AI, Writing, and the Near Future of Writing Technologies

In this talk, I offer a perspective on generative AI applications and the large language models at the heart of these informed by theory and research from digital writing studies. My goal is to offer an explanation of the affordances and limits of LLMs, especially those that rely on a transformer architecture, from an “insider” view as someone who has engineered, built and evaluated applications using that and other machine-learning techniques. My aim is to present some near-future possibilities that can animate and energize DH scholarship because of the unique and valuable contributions the DH community has to contribute.

Bill Hart-Davidson is a Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric & Cultures and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. His research focuses on developing new writing technologies and interventions that have positive, measurable impacts on people’s lives. (hartdav2@msu.edu).