This image was created by Lorenn Ruster using a Style Image Transfer AI algorithm developed by Derrick Schultz and Lia Coleman and images from “Coloured Pattern Texture” by Chrismatos ♥90% OFF, sorry is licensed under CC BY 2.0 and “MIT Museum: Kismet the AI robot smiles at you” by Chris Devers is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

CPI’s Thea Snow has joined forces with Lorenn Ruster, a Master in Applied Cybernetics student from the 3A Institute at the Australian National University, to explore the nature of AI ethics instruments (principles, frameworks, guidelines etc) in government and how they might be reimagined. In a previous blog, the context for this research as well as work in progress questions were shared and we have since received and pondered some interesting questions. This blog is focused on one of the core questions we’ve been carrying — What is a dignity lens for us and why is it important?

In our…


Photo taken by Lorenn Ruster

“Technology is the result of human imagination” and so “all technologies to some degree reflect, and reciprocally affect, human values”.

(Friedman & Hendry 2019, p.1)

If we’re designing and adapting technologies stemming from our imagination, then what’s shaping our imagination?

Biases, assumptions, ‘researcher stance’, ‘ reflexivity’, ‘positionality’… these are all things that have been front and centre throughout this year of studying a Master of Applied Cybernetics at 3A Institute. And also before this year, as I was a part of delivering unconscious bias workshops and training to organisations tackling how to improve recruitment and retention of Indigenous employees.

It…


This image was created by Lorenn Ruster using a Style Image Transfer AI algorithm developed by Derrick Schultz and Lia Coleman and images from iStock illustration ID:1051487700 and Martin Grandjean, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

CPI’s Thea Snow has joined forces with Lorenn Ruster, a Master in Applied Cybernetics student from the 3A Institute at the Australian National University, to explore the nature of AI ethics instruments (principles, frameworks, guidelines etc) in government and how they might be reimagined. This piece is the first of a few posts that will be shared along the way, outlining the context for this research, our work in progress questions and findings, and extending an invitation for collaboration.

Over the past 5 years, we have seen a range of Artificial Intelligence (AI) ethics instruments — frameworks, principles, guidelines —…


For the past couple of days, I’ve been attending the EPIC conference. Completely online (of course). In three different timezones. EPIC is “a global community advancing the value of ethnography in business and organization”. I’ve also had the pleasure of contributing a Pecha Kucha to one of the conference sessions on “Humanizing scale”.


“Automated Automaton Machine” by Si-MOCs is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Each fortnight of Semester 2 of the 3A Institute Master of Applied Cybernetics, we are exploring a component of the 3As (Autonomy, Assurance, Agency) and 3Is (Intent, Interface and Indicators) framework. Find out more about the emerging 3AI framework here and an excerpt on Autonomy below.


“No Boundaries” by macdomeng is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

We’re back at it as part of Semester 2 of the Master of Applied Cybernetics 3A Institute. The Build course from last semester continues and our questions course is replaced by a course focused on practice. Each fortnight we’ll be exploring component’s of 3A Institute 3As and 3Is — Assurance, Autonomy, Agency, Intent, Interfaces and Indicators (read more on this here).

During the first fortnight we were faced with this provocation from Churchman (1970): if a change in a system is to be called an improvement, then reflecting on the boundary of analysis of that system is crucial.

A range…


After spending the semester exploring the building blocks of cyber-physical systems (context, taking things apart, data, Machine Learning and Algorithms, and Systems Mapping), the final fortnight of the 3A Institute Master of Applied Cybernetics Questions Course was focused on putting these elements together and understanding a bit more about the history and influence of the field of cybernetics.

The word cybernetics comes from the Greek verb kybernan which means ‘to steer, navigate or govern’. According to Thomas Rid (2016, pp xi), the meaning of cyber is a chameleon:


Drafted systems map of 3AI (work in progress)

For probably the first time in the course since its start, the focus for a fortnight was on something I had some experience in before (or so I thought) — Networks and Systems.

I definitely felt as though I was relearning what was meant by systems mapping in the context of our studies at the 3A Institute. Some parts were familiar — boundaries, interrelations, feedback loops etc. And some of the past fortnight has been a different lens on the topic. I’ve really needed to try my best to put my previous experiences aside and learn anew. …


(And if there’s such a thing as a shebang, what’s a hebang?)

I remember landing in Paris on the first days of my exchange semester more than a decade ago. I was excited and daunted. Unbeknownst to me, I’d arrived two weeks earlier than the semester would actually start…this was the beginning of many many misunderstandings. The joys of navigating French administration in French began. I might have been majoring in French, but any skills I did have were tossed out the window in this new environment. Some words on paper made sense but, in the practice of everyday conversation, were completely nonsensical to me.


It’s an old saying: what gets measured, gets done. It’s something I’ve heard in so many contexts — from the former Director General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan when I interned there a while back to the ongoing conversation about gender diversity targets on Australian boards and when discussing recent climate change planning and green deals.

And it’s something that is particularly relevant right now in the era of COVID-19 as we attempt to measure cases, deaths and do contact tracing.

Our focus on measurement is generally a practical one. We need measurement in order to understand what’s…

Lorenn Ruster

Exploring #dignity centred #design #tech #AI #leadership | Master in Applied Cybernetics 3AI | Acumen Fellow | PIC, SingularityU, CEMS MIM alum | Views =own

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