Brydon Wang

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PhD, School of Law

Brydon Wang is a technology and construction law scholar. He researches in the confluence of law, technology and society, and is passionate about machine benevolence, trustworthiness and automated decision-making systems. Brydon was recently the lead editor on the upcoming book Automating Cities: Design, Construction, Operation and Future Impact (Springer, 2021), and has written on trustworthiness and data protection, digital twin technology, and legally-oriented technologies of automation. He has taught in the areas of law, dataveillance and data protection in a variety of contexts at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, including teaching in the Bachelor of Law course at the Queensland University of Technology, and in the Master of Data Science and Master of Architecture courses at the University of Queensland. He has been featured on ABC Radio National’s Future Tense, The Conversation, Californian science and technology channel Seeker, and has written for the Centre for Digital Built Britain. Brydon is an alumnus of Magic Circle law firm Allens Linklaters and was a national finalist in the Australian Law Awards 2014.


Details of my PhD research project:

Title: Machine Superintendence:  A strategy for signalling benevolence in data practices and technologies of automation in the smart city

Abstract: The city is subjected to automation pressures. At the city level, this has given rise to machine superintendents for the city in the form of digital twins and other automated decision-making systems. Given that trustworthiness is crucial to the formation of cities, we need to make these systems trustworthy and technology develops need to signal benevolence. At the building / project level, there are similar automation pressures on the superintendent or trusted intermediary on construction contracts. We need to understand if a machine can signal benevolence to increase trustworthiness in the same way a human actor can. This research project investigates what does machine benevolence in data-focused decision making systems look like at the city and at the building or project delivery levels. It examines the extent to which the superintendent’s trusted intermediary role is capable of being automated, applying a cross-disciplinary model of trustworthiness to analyse if legal processes involving discretionary and non-discretionary contractual obligations, and other forms of legal decision-making, can be made benevolent.

Supervisors: A/Prof Mark Burdon, Prof Nic Suzor, Prof Sharon Christensen