Trust, Mistrust and AI: Intimacy, Consent, Affect

Cefai, Sarah. 2023. 'Trust, Mistrust and AI: Intimacy, Consent, Affect'. In: Trust, Mistrust and AI: Intimacy, Consent, Affect. University of New South Wales, Australia. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

Trust might take as its object another person, or a social reputation, a specific technology, or a corporation. Trust’s affects take form in these specific relations, as belief or ideation, as knowledge, confidence or ‘ontological security’, though might also be more loosely felt, such as in the trust that things will turn out all right. Institutions of intimacy, such as sex, friendship, family and the romantic relationship, are powerful organisers of people’s perceptions of trust—of who, how and when to trust. Equally, it is through the institutions of intimacy that we learn to consent. For example, we cannot be forced to trust, but must consent to trust. The increasing mediation of intimate relationships and encounters by AI technologies, from social media algorithms to location services, are in turn mediating social perceptions and affective realities of trust. This workshop considers the role of intimacy and consent in furthering our understanding of how uses of automated decision-making (ADM) within intimate life are pivotal to the wholescale remediation of social life more generally. Such a challenge requires thinking about the dynamic between trust and mistrust, when trust itself becomes an object of scrutiny. Within the context of ADM, what are the limits and possibilities for taking up a theory of trust as sensory, affective, embodied, and immanent within social relations? How do notions of transparency, prediction, and efficacy address mistrust? How does consent conjoin with trust and mistrust in the arrival of ADM in intimate relations?

This online workshop jointly hosted by the UNSW Media Futures Hub and the ARC Centre of Excellence on ADM+S Centre investigates the affective and embodied dimensions of trust and mistrust. Discuss will cover themes such as:

> ADM + trust and mistrust + the social encounter
> ADM + trust and mistrust + prediction
> ADM + trust and mistrust + transparency
> ADM + trust and mistrust + consent
> ADM + trust and mistrust + believability
> ADM + trust and mistrust + control

Led by Dr Sarah Cefai (Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths), this workshop will take the form of a 2-hour discussion guided by provocations by ADM+S and Media Futures Hub scholars:

Associate Professor Emma A. Jane in Arts and Media, UNSW
Associate Professor in Media and Communications Tanja Dreher, UNSW
Associate Professor in Criminology Maria Giannacopoulos, UNSW
Dr Emma Quilty, Research Fellow in the Department of Human Centred Computing, Monash University

These provocations will be presented in dialogue with a limited number of academic texts that will be circulated to participants in advance.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


February 2023Completed

Event Location:

University of New South Wales, Australia

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2022 09:54

Last Modified:

23 Nov 2022 09:54


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