December 11, 2018

Announcing FAT/Asia – Hong Kong, 11-12 January, 2019

Alongside the excitement about science fiction “coming to life” through increasingly futuristic gadgets and services, there is growing concern about the implications of an algorithm-driven society. Scholars and thinkers are debating the potential impact of automated decision-making on equality, autonomy, and dignity, and addressing the need for oversight mechanisms that protect fundamental freedoms and human agency.

A global community has converged around the themes of fairness, accountability, and transparency, as part of the attempt to address opaque systems, power and information asymmetries, and due process. A series of FAT/ML conferences was instrumental in elevating a multidisciplinary approach (along with Ethics in NLP and similar convenings).  The FAT* initiative expanded the focus beyond machine learning and, since 2018, the (soon to be renamed) ACM FAT conference has been one of the most anticipated annual events in this area.

Building on this community of scholarship and practice, we are thrilled to announce FAT/Asia!


  • A Greatest Hits track, to bring some of the seminal papers from this community to Asia, and foster greater collaboration and engagement across regions;
  • An Open Questions in Asia session, inspired by this paper on machine learning problems in East Africa (with the aim of co-creating a similar paper that surfaces concrete research problems and gaps in Asia);
  • Tutorials from/to various disciplines, to build greater capacity and collaborations, especially across academic silos;
  • A public panel and evening reception, to help mainstream these discussions and make them more accessible for people interested in innovation, policy, culture, and society.

Call for Abstracts:

We are calling for short abstracts that discuss problems and ideas relating to the general topics of fairness, accountability, and transparency. For an example of topics that are within scope, please see the topics covered by the ACM conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency and the AAAI workshop on AI, Ethics, and Society.

We are particularly interested in research by Asian scholars and/or work that touches on Asian issues, comparative work that has implications for emerging economies, and ideas that speak to issues of inequality, development, welfare and public service delivery, policing, and marginalized communities.

Please submit abstracts of not more than 750 words to by 18th December (11:59pm anywhere in the world). We have some scholarships to support travel. We will cluster by theme, towards curating a mix of papers/responses and panel discussions.

This event is supported by grants from The Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.