Māori Lens on Digital Tech.
“Whatever happens in the analogue world will be exponentially amplified in the digital. That is why you need new lenses at every stage, from creation to data gathering to dissemination and deployment, and whose values will be represented.”
I completed my Master of Technological Futures through Tech Futures Lab in 2019.
My research looks into the possible effects of algorithmic bias on Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand by first looking at the effects of mono-cultural, historic institutional racism/bias on Māori.
I examined the simple solution of offering a Tikanga Matatika, Maori framework to be used in digital technology innovation, to offer new insights and values to a predominantly non-Māori industry, to break the homogeneity of thought and mitigate against bias.
Including research and literature reviews I was to test the draft framework on businesses. Covid-19 made face to face working with teams more difficult, for more reasons than physically working with them. It became a series of interviews and conversations with individuals of iwi, hapū, companies, organisations, departments.
The simple finding is that people are not ready for a Tikanga Matatika, framework. It is too many steps ahead. Algorithmic Bias is the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg itself, the real issue is that there is a deep and historic chasm between Māori and European Pākehā in Aotearoa. In general Māori do not trust to share their knowledge with Pākehā and non-Māori. Pākehā and non-Māori, while recognising they should engage with Māori and our values, worldview, feel nervous and awkward about that relationship. They recognise they don’t know as much as they could or should about Te Ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and therefore the thought of actually adopting Tikanga Māori, Māori values makes them uncomfortable.
Before a Tikanga Matatika, there first needs to be honest and open conversations about this elephant in the room, this faultline that lies beneath Aotearoa, New Zealand society, the broken relationship between Māori and European Pākehā first then the non-Maori living in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We need a Tikanga Matatika Korero, a framework to govern those conversations.