Associate Fellow
Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, University of Cambridge

Louise was awarded a Digit Innovation Fund in 2022 on The Digitalisation of Access Work: fiction to policy recommendations.


Louise Hickman is an activist and scholar of communication, and uses ethnographic, archival, and theoretical approaches to consider how access is produced for disabled people. Her current project focuses particularly on access produced by real-time stenographers and transcriptive technologies in educational settings.

She uses an interdisciplinary lens drawing on feminist theory, critical disability studies, and science and technology studies to consider the historical conditions of access work, and the ways access is co-produced through human (and primarily female) labour, technological systems, and economic models and conditions.

Louise is currently a Research Associate at the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy at the University of Cambridge. Louise previously worked as a Senior Research Officer at the London School of Economics and Political Science Department of Media and Communications and at Ada Lovelace Institute’s JUST-AI Network on Data and AI Ethics.

Research interests
  • Feminist labour
  • Critical Disability Stuides
  • Ethical AI
  • Science and Technology Studies
Journal articles

Newman-Griffis D, Rauchberg JS, Alharbi R, Hickman L, Hochheiser H. Alternative models: Critical examination of disability definitions in the development of artificial intelligence technologies. arXiv preprint arXiv:2206.08287. 2022 Jun 16.

Policy publications

Irani, Lilly, Hussein, Mikaiil, Zschiesche, Peter, Tandon, Udayan, Arcilla, Enrique, Hickman, Louise, Goldsmith, Montana, Singh, Simrandeep, & Khovanskaya, Vera. (2021). Transportation for Smart and Equitable Cities: Integrating Taxis and Mass Transit for Access, Emissions Reduction, and Planning. Zenodo.

Four new projects supported in Digit’s third round of Innovation Funding

27 July 2022

The projects will explore crowdfunded work in creative industries, the use of open source digital infrastructure, the digitalisation of access work and the role of HR managers in creating 'good work' through digitalisation.