Co-Opting AI: Justice

05/13 Monday | 6pm

You can watch the event here.

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to a discussion on justice in our series on “Co-Opting AI.” Featuring Sasha Costanza-ChockVirginia EubanksAmanda LevendowskiAlondra Nelson, and Mona Sloane in conversation, this event examines the intersection of AI and (in)justice. What are the social implications of deploying AI across so many domains of society? Who benefits, who is affected? How is AI related to structures of power and privilege? And how can we build on the AI momentum to push for social justice beyond technology and address the root cause of social inequality? The speakers will come together to provide their expertise on AI, race, inequality, social justice, design, and the law to consider these questions.


Sasha Costanza-Chock (pronouns: they/them or she/her) is a scholar, activist, and media-maker, and currently Associate Professor of Civic Media at MIT. They are a Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Faculty Affiliate with the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the MIT Center for Civic Media, and creator of the MIT Codesign Studio (codesign.mit.edu). Their work focuses on social movements, transformative media organizing, and design justice. Sasha’s first book, Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets: Transmedia Organizing and the Immigrant Rights Movement was published by the MIT Press in 2014. They are a board member of Allied Media Projects (AMP); AMP convenes the annual Allied Media Conference and cultivates media strategies for a more just, creative and collaborative world (alliedmedia.org).

Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the PoorDigital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age; and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific AmericanThe NationHarper’s, and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. She was a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a 2016-2017 Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, NY.

Amanda Levendowski is currently a Clinical Teaching Fellow with the NYU Technology Law & Policy Clinic, where she is also an Engelberg Center Fellow and an Affiliate Researcher with the Information Law Institute. Her clinical projects and scholarship focus on developing practical approaches to cutting-edge problems at the intersection of intellectual property, information policy, and the public interest. Previously, she worked as an associate at Cooley and Kirkland & Ellis in New York.

Alondra Nelson is president of the Social Science Research Council and professor of sociology at Columbia University. An award-winning scholar of science, medicine, and social inequality, her recent books include The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the GenomeGenetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History, and Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination. Alondra has contributed to national policy discussions on inequality, and about the social implications of new technologies, including artificial intelligencebig data, direct-to-consumer genetics, and human gene-editing. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Data & Society Research Institute. Alondra is chair of the American Sociological Association Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology and is an elected member of the Sociological Research Association.

Mona Sloane is a sociologist and her work examines the intersection of design and social inequality. Her current research is on AI design and policy in the context of inequality, valuation practice, data epistemology and ethics. At IPK, Mona founded and convenes the ‘Co-Opting AI’ series. Mona completed her PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE scholarship) with a thesis on commercial spatial design practices. She also is a co-founder and former member of the LSE research programme Configuring Light/Staging the Social which explores the socio-technical role of public lighting in cities. Mona has published on design inequalities, interior design and atmospheres, material culture in design practice, social justice and lighting design, social research in/for design, aesthetics, design thinking, the politics of design, practitioner-academic collaboration for societal impact, and AI ethics. She has completed fellowships at UC Berkeley and the University of Cape Town. Follow her on Twitter @mona_sloane.

Image credit: © Philipp N. Hertel

This event is wheelchair accessible. For other accommodations, contact: ipk.info@nyu.edu.

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