AI in the service of democracy

The Swedish Security Service has been scaling up the data and AI efforts in recent years, but why and how can AI be used by the service? Many organizations want to scale their digitalization and AI capabilities, but how can these capabilities ”scale with style?” AI has been around for over 70 years, but why is it accelerating at an exponential rate today? How are investments in AI being made in different parts of the World, and how do the Swedish and European investments compare? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this talk, in the context of using AI in the service of democracy.

Barry O'Reilly

Architecture as Difference and Repetition

It turns out that the never-ending discussion on ”What is architecture?” is almost 3000 years old. This session will use aspects of 20th century continental philosophy to explain why traditional architectural approaches should never work, why they sometimes do despite themselves, and what we should be doing instead.

Evolution, Order and Emergence: Self-Organisation in Nature

No one can predict the future, least of all software engineers. As our society bears witness to an age of increasing complexity, how does one even begin to judge the validity of today’s KPI/OKR/KRA/TLA against the backdrop of the unpredictable?

Mother Nature takes a simpler approach: do what you can and try not to die. While the rest of the cosmos marches down the inevitable path towards maximum disorder, Nature seemingly never stops creating expansive islands of ever-increasing order. By exploring the boundaries of mathematics and chaos, structure and self-organisation can be found everywhere from economics and social networks, to chemistry and biology. But how is this possible?

This talk highlights several key ideas that have emerged over the past century, and tells the story of how Nature evolves, reacts and experiments to create amazing structures, limited only by the universe itself. On our journey, we will explore the awesome power of weather systems, the elegance of the human brain, the unfair reputation of waterfalls, and the reasons why pandas are pointless.

Programs and Programmers in Time

The world around us constantly changes. Our programs are unable to respond and adapt to those changes by themselves. They are, after all, mere code. They are dead and have no agency. It falls on us, the programmers, to run around modifying the code as appropriate in response to the changes that occur in the world. Unfortunately, since this is a manual process and we are bound by time and economic constraints, our response is bound to be partial and imperfect. We might not immediately be aware of all the changes that we need to respond to. Sometimes we don’t know exactly how to respond. Maybe we don’t consider it worthwhile to respond to the change. The change might be incompatible with previous choices or assumptions we have made. It might take a lot of time to make the necessary changes. When there are many changes, we might lag behind. Over time, this causes problems. This isn’t just a matter of so-called technical debt. It is much more fundamental.

In this talk, we’ll take a deeper look at change and inertia in the socio-technical symbiosis of programs and programmers.