Dr. (des) Maya Indira Ganesh is a tech and digital cultures theorist, researcher, and writer. For 15 years her work has wedded questions of power and social and political inequalities to those of language, knowledge, and the body as mediated by digital technologies, from mobile phones to big data to AI.
Maya is a Senior Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, and course co-lead on the MSt (Master of Studies) program on AI, Ethics, and Society at the University of Cambridge, UK.
In 2022, she was invited to be part of a seven-member advisory board to the Junge Akademie’s new work on AI, Ethics & Society at the 325-year-old Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts) in Berlin. This year she is also a Scientist in Residence at ZKM, Karlsruhe, within the Driving the Human project.
In March 2022 Maya graduated Summa cum Laude with a Drphil in Cultural Sciences from Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany. Her doctoral research is titled, The Ethical Apparatus: The material-discursive shaping of ethics, autonomy, and the driverless car. It examines the social, discursive, and cultural dimensions of how the ‘ethical’ is being re-shaped in efforts to regulate evolving forms of AI, algorithmic systems such as autonomous vehicles.
Maya transitioned to academic research after working as a researcher and advocate on gender justice, digital rights and freedom of expression, and international development in India, and on projects in parts of SE Asia and Africa. She has worked with the APC Women’s Rights Program, and Tactical Tech. Maya continues to be associated with NGO communities through her position on the Board of Directors of ARROW, a sexual and reproductive health and rights policy advocacy research organisation working across the Asia-Pacific region.
Maya’s freelance work includes digital-cultural, research, and writing projects, most often collaborations with creative programmers, fellow researchers, and artists. Maya has worked with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Transmediale Festival, Berlin (2019), was on the 2019-2020 Jury for Digital art at Akademie Schloss Solitude, and is a speaker at arts and cultural events in Germany.
Maya has been awarded fellowships with the Berggruen Institute (2020-21), and Hivos (2020), and was a Resident Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center for a thematic residency on AI (2019). She has worked with the AI and Media Philosophy (Künstliche Intelligenz und Medienphilosophie -KIM) research group at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung (University of Arts and Design), Karlsruhe (2019); and has been a fellow of the Media Cultures for Computer Simulation (MECS) Institute for Advanced Study at Leuphana University (2018).