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Indigenous Protocols // AI Laboratory

Question: How might we draft and test Indigenous Protocols in the making of cultural sustainable Artificial Intelligence?

Schedule summary

Week 1 - Ground Indigenous Protocols in relation to the development of Artificial Intelligence

Week 2 - Draft Indigenous Protocols for particular Artificial Intelligence use cases with correlating data

Week 3 - Test and refine Indigenous Protocols based on learnings from experiments conducted by the group

Week 4 - Reflect on Indigenous Protocols and their value in making culturally sustainable Artificial Intelligence

You can find the detailed weekly schedule here


As we continue to grapple with world-changing events, steering us towards unknown futures, there is an urgent need for Indigenous governance in the ongoing development of Artificial Intelligence, based on our living cultural practices, embedded in caring for Country and caring for Kin. Developing and applying Indigenous Protocols to the making of Artificial Intelligence sits at the heart of this governance.

The Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is a hybrid event located across multiple spatio-temporal contexts, tethered to many places at once, online and offline. The Laboratory has been designed to provide a communal, critical and creative space for Indigenous artists, designers, academics, activists and technologists to come together with knowledge holders and leading experts in Indigenous Protocols, Artificial Intelligence, Language, Semantics and Data Governance.

We see the Laboratory as one step towards surfacing old ways and new practices and theories shaping Artificial Intelligence through co-production, drafting, and testing Indigenous Protocols.

"The stories we tell ourselves about AI reflect our cultural context in ways we hardly realise until we shine a light on them. This incubator will be an important program to develop indigenous-led narratives, art and protocols about AI. It is an exhilarating initiative!"

— Genevieve Bell


Old Ways, New, Angie Abdilla, with Tyson Yunkaporta and Megan Kelleher are coming together to lead an intimate group of Indigenous creatives, technologists and leading industry experts such as Genevieve Bell, Pia Andrews and Tea Uglow to experiment with Artificial Intelligence shaped through Indigenous Protocols. The Laboratory extends from the Indigenous AI Working Group, and theoretical and conceptual framing of Indigenous Protocols. and Artificial Intelligence, which can be found here, IP AI Position Paper.

Through the Laboratory we will explore not-yet-known possibilities for Artificial Intelligence grounded in cultural ways of knowing, being and doing, by testing critical assumptions about the nature and usefulness of Indigenous Protocols, and cultural datasets in the shaping of Artificial Intelligence.


For Indigenous Peoples worldwide. For the benefit of all Country and Kin.

Further reading

Jan 2020 – Position Paper: Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence

Sep 2019 – Sand Talk (Tyson Yunkaporta)

Oct 2018 – Decolonising the Digital: Technology as Cultural Practice

Nov 2016 – Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Pattern Thinking

Further Listening

Nov 2020 – Machines as kin or the new colonisers? Indigenous tech revolutionaries rethinking A.I

Jul 2020 – The Jim Rutt Show: Tyson Yunkaporta on Indigenous Knowledge

This Laboratory is supported by the Goethe Institut Creative AI program.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and internationally, and their continuing connection to culture, community, land, sea and sky. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.