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AI in Action is a five-day, global university system customizable learning experience delving into the applications of AI across fields hosted by Northeastern University.

The AI in Action Week closing plenary session is co-hosted by the Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University as part of the Center’s Rebooting Democracy in the Age of AI lecture series. 

Audrey Tang, Digital Minister for Taiwan, will be interviewed by Professor and Burnes Center Director Beth Simone Noveck. 

Rebooting Democracy in the Age of AI talks with innovative designers, thinkers, and changemakers from around the world working to “do democracy” differently. 

The lecture series explores how machine learning, natural language processing, generative AI, can enable more participatory and inclusive ways of solving problems and strengthen our ability to govern. Learn more at

Audrey Tang: 

Audrey Tang is Taiwan’s digital minister in charge of MODA (Ministry of Digital Affairs).  As a child, she practiced Taoism to moderate all strong emotions to survive a cardiac condition. After attending 10 educational institutions in 10 years, She left formal schooling to pursue self-education at the age of 14.

In her 20s, Tang rose to prominence as a leader in free and open-source software, revitalizing the Haskell and Perl programming languages while transitioning to become non-binary.

During her 30s, she played a crucial role in shaping g0v (gov-zero), one of the most prominent civic tech movements worldwide. In 2014, she provided support to broadcast the demands and resolve conflicts during a three-week occupation of Taiwan’s parliament. Following this, she became a young advisor to a Taiwanese minister and, after the ensuing election, a minister herself.

Tang helped develop participatory democracy platforms such as vTaiwan and Join, bringing civic innovation into the public sector through initiatives like the Presidential Hackathon and Ideathon. Other accomplishments include shaping Taiwan’s internationally acclaimed COVID-19 response, as well as safeguarding its 2024 presidential and legislative elections from foreign interference.

Beth Simone Noveck:

Beth Simone Noveck is a professor at Northeastern University, where she directs the Burnes Center for Social Change and its partner projects, the GovLab, and InnovateUS. She is Core Faculty at the Institute for Experiential AI.  Beth also serves as Chief AI Strategist for the state of New Jersey and co-chair of the state’s AI Task Force. Beth previously served in the White House as the Deputy Chief Technology Officer and head of the White House Open Government Initiative and as a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Digital Council. Beth’s work focuses on using AI to reimagine participatory democracy and strengthen governance, and she has spent her career helping institutions incorporate more participatory and open ways of working.

About the Burnes Center for Social Change: 

The Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University develops innovative, participatory, and equitable approaches to solving public problems using new technology, especially artificial intelligence. The Center is led by a growing team of accomplished and recognized changemakers focusing on strengthening democracy and improving governance, tackling climate change, advancing education outcomes, deepening economic justice, and promoting better health. 

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