Co-Opting AI: GENDER

05/14 Thursday | 5pm

This event is a virtual panel discussion that will be live-streamed via Youtube
Guests can pose questions via Twitter

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, NYU Tandon’s Department for Technology, Culture and Society, NYUWomXn100, and the 370 Jay Project invite you to a discussion on gender in the series “Co-Opting AI.” Featuring Sareeta Amrute, Lisa Coleman, Catherine D’Ignazio, Mar Hicks, Lauren Klein and Mona Sloane in conversation, this event examines the complex intersection of AI and gender. At the dawn of the new decade, AI has become a codeword for new power. But this new power is deeply entrenched within old mechanisms of exclusion and oppression. For example, we see data classification practices in AI create systemic violence against members of communities that are not easily classified. AI systems aren’t optimized for “edge cases”. Elsewhere, we’ve seen policy decisions suffocate possibilities for equitable participation in technology design, later blaming “the pipeline problem”. At this event, the panelists will come together to critically discuss these issues in the context of gender. What is the link between AI and gender? How does this relate to systems of exclusion and oppression? What are alternative ways for thinking about, and reclaiming, power in and through AI?

Sareeta Amrute unsettles tech research through decolonizing strategies, analyzes sensation and immigration, and reimagines cashless economies together with communities in the Global South. 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. Amrute is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington.

Dr. Lisa M. Coleman is New York University’s (NYU) inaugural Senior VP for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation and in the role serves as the institutions’ Chief Diversity Officer. Reporting to NYU president Andrew Hamilton, Dr. Coleman works with the Office of the Provost, deans, and other senior leaders, internal stakeholders, external partners, and constituents to advance, promote, and build capacity for strategic global inclusion, diversity, equity, belonging and innovation initiatives across NYU’s global network. Prior to joining the NYU community, Dr. Coleman served as Harvard University’s first special assistant to the president and its first chief diversity officer. During her tenure there, she and her team developed some of the first initiatives focused on the intersections of technology and disability. Before her time at Harvard, she directed the Africana program at Tufts University and was later appointed as that institution’s first senior GID executive, reporting to the president. Dr. Coleman earned her doctorate in Social and Cultural Analysis, American Studies from NYU and three master’s degrees from the Ohio State University in African and African American Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Communication Studies. Her undergraduate foci included sociology, anthropology, and computer science.

Catherine D’Ignazio is a scholar, artist/designer and hacker mama who focuses on feminist technology, data literacy and civic engagement. She has run reproductive justice hackathons, designed global news recommendation systems, created talking and tweeting water quality sculptures, and led walking data visualizations to envision the future of sea level rise. With Rahul Bhargava, she built the platform Databasic.io, a suite of tools and activities to introduce newcomers to data science. Her forthcoming book from MIT Press, Data Feminism, co-authored with Lauren Klein, charts a course for more ethical and empowering data science practices. Her research at the intersection of technology, design & social justice has been published in the Journal of Peer Production, the Journal of Community Informatics, and the proceedings of Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM SIGCHI). Her art and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation, Turbulence.org and the Knight Foundation and exhibited at the Venice Biennial and the ICA Boston. D’Ignazio is an Assistant Professor of Urban Science and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. She is also Director of the Data + Feminism Lab which uses data and computational methods to work towards gender and racial equity, particularly in relation to space and place.

Mar Hicks is an author, historian, and professor doing research on the history of computing, labor, technology, and queer science and technology studies. Their research focuses on how gender and sexuality bring hidden technological dynamics to light, and how the experiences of women and LGBTQIA people change the core narratives of the history of computing in unexpected ways. Hicks’s multiple award-winning book, Programmed Inequality, looks at how the British lost their early lead in computing by discarding women computer workers, and what this cautionary tale tells us about current issues in high tech. Read more at: marhicks.com.

Lauren Klein is an associate professor in the departments of English and Quantitative Theory & Methods at Emory University, where she also directs the Digital Humanities Lab. She works at the intersection of data science, digital humanities, and early American literature, with a research focus on issues of race and gender. She has designed platforms for exploring the contents of historical newspapers, recreated forgotten visualization schemes with fabric and addressable LEDs, and, with her students, cooked meals from early American recipes—and then visualized the results. In 2017, she was named one of the “rising stars in digital humanities” by Inside Higher Ed. She is the author of An Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) and, with Catherine D’Ignazio, Data Feminism (MIT Press, 2020). With Matthew K. Gold, she edits Debates in the Digital Humanities, a hybrid print-digital publication stream that explores debates in the field as they emerge. Her current project, Data by Design: An Interactive History of Data Visualization, 1786-1900, was recently funded by an NEH-Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication.

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 at the Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK), a Fellow with NYU’s Alliance for Public Interest Technology and a Future Imagination Collaboratory (FIC) Fellow at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She also works with The GovLab in New York and teaches at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. At IPK, Mona founded and convenes the ‘Co-Opting AI’ series. She also curates the Technology Section for Public Books. 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.

The Co-Opting AI event series is convened by Mona Sloane. It is are hosted at IPK and co-sponsored by the 370 Jay Project and the NYU Tandon Department of Technology, Culture, and Society. The Co-Opting AI: Gender event is co-hosted by Lisa Coleman and co-sponsored by NYUWomXn100.

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