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Chelsea Manning to Speak on Tech at University

ANN ARBOR, Mi. – Chelsea Manning, an advocate of queer and transgender rights and government transparency who spent seven years in military prison for leaking classified documents, will speak at the University of Michigan as part of the Penny Stamps Speaker Series.

Manning will speak at 5:10 p.m. on March 15 at the Michigan Theater, focusing on the social, technological and economic ramifications of artificial intelligence and on the practical applications of machine learning. The event is free and open to the public.

During her time as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, Manning publicly disclosed classified documents that she felt revealed human rights abuses and corruption connected to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during her deployment in Iraq in 2009.

The transgender woman, known as Bradley Manning when she was convicted in 2013 of leaking more than 700,000 classified documents, was released from military prison in May after serving seven years of her sentence. President Barack Obama commuted her sentence to time served plus 120 days in the final days of his administration.

Upon being sentenced to 35 years for leaking government documents, she publicly identified as a trans woman and asserted her legal rights to medical therapy.

Bio-political artist and educator Heather Dewey-Hagborg will join Manning for the event. Dewey-Hagborg’s 2017 art exhibit, “Probably Chelsea,” consists of 30 different possible portraits of Manning algorithmically-generated by an analysis of her DNA. 

In her creative collaboration with Manning, Dewey-Hagborg received cheek swabs and hair clippings from Manning to create DNA-derived sculptural portraits. The work illustrates a multitude of ways in which DNA can be interpreted, according to Dewey-Hagborg’s website.

Manning filed last month to run for the Senate in Maryland in the Democratic primary

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