Tomasz, a Polish-American in his late 20s has been a coliver at COCO for the last six months.

He’s currently finishing his PhD in design theory, in addition to starting his postdoctoral research in artificial intelligence and ethics, both at the prestigious and renowned University of Cambridge. While his current studies play a big part in who he is and what he’s impassioned by, Tomasz simply describes himself as a “humanities person with a background in philosophy and media”.

Setting his sights in the EU for partnerships, Tomasz explored residencies in Germany and France, but ultimately chose the latter. Landing a partnership with École Normale Supérieure in Paris, he’s been able to collaborate with researchers, and investigate postcolonial perspectives on technology development in the wider Francophone world. “I wanted to split my time in France between finishing my thesis and interacting with scholars that share similar philosophies, and who ask similar questions” he says.

One of those specific questions, is the discourse of technology needing to ensure a human-centric approach. “You need to put human well-being at the centre of what we’re doing.

Whether you are building a recommendation algorithm for a social media platform, or something much more contentious, like an automated crime prevention tool, you need to think about how your system could lead to discrimination. Those are the dangers of AI. It encodes bias against specific communities” he says passionately.

Tomasz counts his time at COCO a true testament to shaping his life in Paris. “When you arrive in a new place and don’t have many friends you can turn to, COCO is beyond just a place to stay. It acts as an essential base, and gives you a sense of community. Some other colivers are academics like myself, in completely different fields, and others are part of the corporate world. It was intriguing to discuss, among many other things, the role of technology in our society with this diverse crowd.”

When Tomasz first arrived, he thought it was important to experience Paris through the French lens. “But my interactions with the COCO community have helped shape an international, global understanding of the city,” he says with a smile, recalling previous events and encounters with other colivers.

You can read more about the work Tomasz does here.