Co-Opting AI: Machines

04/01 Monday | 5pm

You can watch the event here.

*Please note: This event is over-subscribed, and seating will be available on a first come first served basis. An RSVP does not guarantee a seat. Please arrive early if you can. Doors open at 4:30PM.


NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to the first event of our series on “Co-Opting AI.” This discussion, featuring Solon BarocasMeredith Broussard, Finn Brunton, and Mona Sloane, debunks the fear that “the robots are coming.” It takes the case of AI to explore what (algorithmic) machines and technology can and cannot do, and how this is interlinked with society’s social histories and hierarchies. The discussion will bring to the surface who designs AI technologies, under what circumstances and to what ends.

Solon Barocas is a Researcher in the New York lab of Microsoft Research and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University. He is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. His current research explores ethical and policy issues in artificial intelligence, particularly fairness in machine learning, methods for bringing accountability to automated decision-making, and the privacy implications of inference. He co-founded the annual workshop on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning (FAT/ML) and later established the ACM conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*).

Meredith Broussard is an Assistant Professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University, a 2018 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow, and the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. Her newest project explores how future historians will read today’s news on tomorrow’s computers. A former features editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, she has also worked as a software developer at AT&T Bell Labs and the MIT Media Lab. Her features and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Slate, and other outlets.

Finn Brunton is Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt and scholar of the relationships between society, culture and information technology — how we make technological decisions, and deal with their consequences. He focuses on the adoption, adaptation, modification and misuse of digital media and hardware; privacy, information security, and encryption; network subcultures; hardware literacy; and obsolete and experimental media platforms. He is the author of Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet (MIT, 2013), and Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Technologists, and Utopians Who Created Cryptocurrency, forthcoming from Princeton UP in 2019.

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.

Image credit: Philipp N. Hertel 

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

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