Co-Opting AI: Classification
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NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, the 370 Jay Project, the NYU Center for Responsible AI, and the NYU Tandon Department of Technology, Culture and Society invite you to a new discussion in the series “Co-Opting AI.”
This event will explore classification practices, information systems, and the organization of society vis-à-vis the “AI hype”.
Sareeta Amrute is an anthropologist who studies race, labor, and class in global tech economies. She is currently investigating sensation and social movements in the Indian diaspora in a book project called Securing Dissent: Activism and Cryptography in the Indian Diaspora. She has received a fellowship from the Russell Sage Foundation to support this scholarship. Her recent book, Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT Workers in Berlin, is an account of the relationship between cognitive labor and embodiment, told through the stories of programmers from India who move within migration regimes and short-term coding projects in corporate settings. Encoding Race, Encoding Class was awarded the 2017 Diana Forsythe Prize in the anthropology of science, technology, and medicine, conferred jointly by the Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology and Computing and the Society for the Anthropology of Work, and the 2019 International Convention of Asian Studies Book Prize for the Social Sciences. Sareeta is an Affiliate Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington. She earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago.
Dan Bouk is Associate Professor of History at Colgate University. He researches the history of bureaucracies, quantification, and other modern things shrouded in cloaks of boringness. He studied computational mathematics as an undergraduate at Michigan State, before earning a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. His work investigates the ways that corporations, states, and the experts they employ have used, abused, made, and re-made the categories that structure our daily experiences of being human. His first book, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (Chicago, 2015), explored the spread into ordinary Americans’ lives of the United States life insurance industry’s methods for quantifying people, for discriminating by race, for justifying inequality, and for thinking statistically. His new book, Democracy’s Data: The Hidden Stories in the US Census and How to Read Them, published by MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, was one of the New York Times‘ 100 notable books for 2022. In an age when we often hear that good governance requires that we depend on good data, it is crucial that everyone (and not just those in quantitative fields) understand and can work to improve the processes that make data from people. Democracy’s Data is a history of the 1940 census that will prepare its readers to examine and critique the data-driven systems that surround us. Bouk blogs about his on-going research at shroudedincloaksofboringness.com.
Geoffrey C. Bowker is Professor at the School of Information and Computer Science, University of California at Irvine, where he directs a laboratory for Values in the Design of Information Systems and Technology. Recent positions include Professor of and Senior Scholar in Cyberscholarship at the University of Pittsburgh iSchool and Executive Director, Center for Science, Technology and Society, Santa Clara Together with Leigh Star he wrote Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences; his most recent book is Memory Practices in the Sciences.
Mona Sloane, Ph.D. is a sociologist working on design and inequality, specifically in the context of AI design and policy. She is Research Assistant Professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, Senior Research Scientist at the NYU Center for Responsible AI, a Fellow with NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) and The GovLab, and the Director of the *This Is Not A Drill* program on technology, inequality and the climate emergency at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is principal investigator on multiple research projects on AI and society, and holds an affiliation with the Tübingen AI Center at the University of Tübingen in Germany where she previously led a 3-year federally funded research project on the operationalization of ethics in German AI startups. Mona founded and runs the IPK Co-Opting AI series at NYU and currently serves as editor of the technology section at Public Books. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Follow her on Twitter @mona_sloane.
The Co-Opting AI event series is convened by Mona Sloane. It is hosted at IPK and co-sponsored by the 370 Jay Project, the NYU Center for Responsible AI, and the NYU Tandon Department of Technology, Culture and Society.