LibrePlanet: Conference/2024/BOF

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Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions for LP2024

Interested in putting together a BoF? Other plans or ideas for a social event? This is your place to do all that and more!

Birds of a Feather sessions are a time for people to get together around a specific topic or identity, either to focus on conversations, come up with new ideas, or just spend time socializing.

Use the following information to describe your BoF. Anyone can sign up to the event by adding their name to the attendee's list. We encourage you to try by yourself to add your session below, but if you run into any trouble feel free to email and we'll post it on the site and help direct people to your event! In addition, we recommend that you promote your event on the | libreplanet-discuss mailing list.








Location TBC

Free Software in Public Services & Daily Life

Theme/Topic: How can we have free software in public services and achieve a more libre life with free software.

Organizer(s): William Goodspeed

Attendees: Open to everyone

Description: It’s true that we may not achieve a fully libre life unless the government advocates free software. Since free software in some public services is already in practice, we are going to discuss the possibilities of free software in China’s public services, as well as copyright and licensing issues involved. Next, we will discuss how can we achieve a more libre life and share experiences and obstacles on using free software in China.

Notes: Aside from the conversations, you can also enjoy the natural scenery of the AAAA Grand Canal Park. This session will be held in the campsite of the park and a canopy will also be available. So don’t forget to bring your own foods and drinks.

Location: Grand Canal Forest Park, Tongzhou, Beijing (Location may be changed in the future subject to the conditions. Nevertheless, it should be a campsite in Beijing.) The accurate coordinate will be published at before starting.

Time: May 4, 9:30-18:00 UTC+8

Thursday Night Dinner

Description: Following a tradition starting back in 2010, Jason Self is organizing his usual unofficial, pre-conference dinner for those that are in town on the Thursday night before LibrePlanet kicks off.

Join in for a delightful evening of good food and good company at Veggie Galaxy, an all-vegetarian diner where everything on the menu can be made vegan! Our gathering begins at 6:30 PM local time. You can peek at the menu ahead of time by visiting Veggie Galaxy's website at

While Veggie Galaxy welcomes us until 9 PM, the experience doesn't have to end there. Should the night still be young and our spirits high, we have the option to relocate to another venue. In the past, some of these events have joyously extended until 2 AM! Let's make this another memorable night.

Should our group decide to continue the celebration elsewhere, rest assured, you're welcome to join for as long or as little as you like. There's absolutely no obligation to stay for the entire duration; feel free to depart at any point that suits you best.

Organizer: Jason Self <>

Attendees: Open to everyone

NOTE: While this is an unofficial conference dinner, I as the dinner organizer still apply the same policies as the conference itself during this event, including the the COVID-19 and Safe Space Policies, which can be found here: and

How to attend: To keep the crowd manageable, please contact the organizer by email to RSVP. Those that show up without RSVP may or may not be able to join, depending on the existing crowd size. There are no promises without a confirmed email.

Veggie Galaxy is located at 450 Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge. This location can be accessed on the MBTA's Red Line by going to Central Square Station.

Subway Map:

This shows the path along Massachusetts Ave between the Central Square Station and Veggie Galaxy:

Free Software Fun

Theme/Topic Free software games

Organizer(s) Zachary Sarver

Description Let's play and discuss some free software games together! The world of free software has plenty of fun on offer and interesting topics to discuss. We can discuss the topic of originality (or, what are the best games that aren't clones?), how to push free software forward, and the numerous free software engine reimplementations. Bring your favorite device, and maybe we can get in a few games of glDoom or Wesnoth.



Location TBC

AI and how to think about it

Theme/Topic: How do we decide how to judge AI in terms of software freedom?

Organizer(s): Ciarán O'Riordan

Description: For people to be treated well in a society which includes software, there are four essential freedoms that software must come with. But an AI system is different to a software system in that the source code is only a tiny part of the system. If we simply check the software part for the four freedoms, we might conclude that an AI system comes with the essential freedoms, but we would not get the benefits that we expect from society having the four freedoms. A second option would be that we apply the four freedoms test to the entire AI system (software + data). Most AI systems today would fail that test, the same way most software systems failed the four freedoms text back in the 1980s. Writing free software to replace non-free software was a huge task, but it was possible, and we have made a lot of progress on this. However, replacing non-free AI training data with free AI training data may be so difficult that it's impossible. One example is large language models. Data scraped from a million websites by professional writers might currently be the input for a medium-quality large language model. There's no way we can create a parallel internet with a similar corpus of a million websites by professional writers. A second example is medical systems. If the necessary training data includes personal or sensitive data, we might find it is impossible to accumulate a sufficient amount of freely-distributable, freely-modifiable medical data. (In both cases, creating an AI system would be possible, either using public domain texts from 100 years ago or using a limited archive of old or theoretical medical data, but neither would suffice to produce a medium-quality AI system for either task.)

Notes: So, anyone who agrees that the above issue is a problem, let's meet up and discuss it. (If you think the above is not an issue, maybe that can be discussed in a BoF about whether AI exists or whether AI systems are different to software systems. Those are great questions and I'd probably join those BoFs if someone proposes such.)


Location TBC

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