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Philippe Aigrain

During and after his training in maths and computer science, Philippe Aigrain combined schizophrenically software development, information technology research, and the social criticism of the effects of IT on society.

From 1979, Philippe Aigrain has tried to build and to help other build technical tools that help everyone to be more creative, more capable or critical thinking and constructive exchanges with others. This led him to develop software and interactive multimedia installations for the mediation of contemporary visual arts and of mathematics; to create and head a research team within the Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse, active in media content analysis for photographs, video and music, automatic indexing and navigation interfaces, and interactive perception and annotation tools for these media; to join the European Commission services (ESPRIT and then IST research programmes), where he developed and implemented policy in support to free / open source software; to create and head a company that develops free software and provides commercial services for the organisation of public debates and collaborative work over the Internet.

In addition to his technical papers, Aigrain has published a number of texts on the sociology of information exchanges and the political philosophy of intellectual rights, including the book "Common Cause: Information Between Commons and Property", Fayard, 2005.

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