Co-Opting AI: Fiction

11/16 Monday | 5pm

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NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, NYU Tandon’s Department for Technology, Culture and Society and the 370 Jay Project invite you to a discussion on finance in the series “Co-Opting AI.

Speculating about the future is part of the human condition, and our speculations often entail imaginations of technologies, such as intelligent machines. Today, fiction, and speculative fiction, continues to shape politics, innovation, and power. The event will feature Sheena Howard, Malka Older, Danya Glabau, Beth Singler, and Mona Sloane and will examine how fiction has shaped our narratives around technology, and AI specifically, and how it can help us speculate about socio-technical futures differently.

Danya Glabau is an STS scholar and medical anthropologist, and Industry Assistant Professor and Director of the Science and Technology Studies program in the department of Technology, Culture, and Society at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Her first book-in-progress, titled Reproducing Safety: Food Allergy Advocacy and the Politics of Care (University of Minnesota Press), examines the reproductive politics of food allergy advocacy in the United States. Her second book project, Cyborg (MIT Press), is co-authored with Laura Forlano (IIT Institute of Design) and will offer an introduction to feminist cyborg theory for scholarly, technical, and non-scholarly audiences. She has also been Faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research since 2015.

Sheena C. Howard, Ph.D., is one of Rider’s most outspoken voices in print, online and on air. Author of Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation (2013), Black Queer Identity Matrix (2014), Critical Articulations of Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation (2014), Encyclopedia of Black Comics (2017) and co-writer of Superb, a critically acclaimed comic book about a superhero with Down syndrome. She is the director, writer and producer of Remixing Colorblind, a documentary about the ways in which the educational system shapes our perception of race and “others.” She has appeared as a guest on networks such as PBS, NPR and ABC.

Malka Older is a writer, aid worker, and sociologist. Her science-fiction political thriller Infomocracy was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus, Book Riot, and the Washington Post. She is the creator of the serial Ninth Step Station, currently running on Serial Box, and her short story collection And Other Disasters came out in November 2019. She is a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and her opinions can be found in The New York Times, The Nation, and Foreign Policy, among other places.

Beth Singler, Ph.D., is the Junior Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. Her anthropological research explores the stories we tell ourselves about artificial intelligence and robotics, as well as their social, ethical, philosophical, and religious implications. An experienced digital ethnographer, Beth also explores these perceptions through public engagement as a filmmaker, speaker, and creative writer. She has produced documentaries on AI, and the first, ‘Pain in the Machine’, won the 2017 AHRC Best Research Film of the Year award. She was one of the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 in both 2017 and 2018, and in 2020 she was one of the 21 to Watch. She has spoken at the Hay Festival, the London Science Museum, the Edinburgh Science Festival, Ars Electronica, and New Scientist Live.

Mona Sloane is a sociologist working on inequality in the context of AI design and policy. She frequently publishes and speaks about AI, ethics, equitability and policy in a global context. Mona is a Fellow with NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK), where she convenes the ‘Co-Opting AI’ series and co-curates the ‘The Shift’ series. She also works with NYU Vice-Provost Charlton McIlwain on building NYU’s new Alliance for Public Interest Technology, is an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, and is part of the inaugural cohort of the Future Imagination Collaboratory (FIC) Fellows at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Mona is also affiliated with The GovLab in New York and with Public Books where she curates the Technology section. Her most recent project is ’Terra Incognita: Mapping NYC’s New Digital Public Spaces in the COVID-19 Outbreak’ which she leads as principal investigator. Mona holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science and has completed fellowships at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Cape Town. Follow her on Twitter @mona_sloane.

Image credit: Philipp N. Hertel

The Co-Opting AI event series is convened by Mona Sloane. They are hosted at IPK and co-sponsored by the 370 Jay Project and the NYU Tandon Department of Technology, Culture, and Society.

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