Urban Technologies and Refugee Integration: Reinforcing Marginality?

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Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars

Urban Technologies and Refugee Integration: Reinforcing Marginality?

As emergent digital integration strategies are increasingly shaping urban refuge in cities such as Berlin and New York, it is important to interrogate whether they exclude, adversely include, or empower vulnerable migrant populations. The concept of the “smart city” is no longer sufficient to describe the ways these technologies invariably sort and control migrant bodies. Rather, the implications of this transition of technology actors into an emergent mobility-tech industry is better understood through an acknowledgement of a “digital periphery”– a digital enclosure in which the iconography of non-agentic others sustain value extraction from racialised bodies and places.

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Matt Mahmoudi
Cambridge, Development Studies

Matt Mahmoudi is a PhD candidate in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he is also Program Lead at TheWhistle.org, an academic spin-out developing and researching digital human rights reporting suites. As Jo Cox Scholar, his research focuses on technological marginalisation in refugees and asylum seekers and examines the justice implications of new digital boundaries to life in cities in an era of “datafied refuge”. Matt co-coordinates the Cambridge branch of Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps, and co-founded and co-produces Declarations: The Human Rights Podcast at Cambridge’s Centre of Governance & Human Rights. Matt is  a coauthor on forthcoming OUP book ‘Digital Witness’.

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