Co-Opting AI: Space

10/12 Tuesday | 6pm

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

This event will examine how imaginaries of space and space exploration are entangled with technological innovation, and AI in particular. The discussion will also consider the social, political and economic impacts of that entanglement.

Janet Vertesi is Associate Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. She specializes in the sociology of science, knowledge, and technology. Her primary research site is with NASA’s robotic spacecraft teams as an ethnographer. Her books, Seeing like a Rover: Images and Interaction on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (Chicago, 2015) and Shaping Science: Organizations, Decisions, and Culture on NASA’s Teams (Chicago, 2020) draws on her ethnographic studies of missions to Mars, Saturn, and the outer planets to examine how organizations matter to scientific discovery. Vertesi is also a leader in digital sociology, whether studying computational systems in social life, shifting research methods online, or applying social insights to build technologies along different lines. She holds a Master’s degree from Cambridge and a PhD from Cornell, has received several grants from the National Science Foundation, and has been awarded top prizes for her work from the ASA’s Science, Knowledge and Technology Section and Communication, Information Technology and Media Section, and the Society for Social Studies of Science.

Kimberley D. McKinson is a cultural anthropologist who conducts ethnographic research in Jamaica. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, and is currently an assistant professor of anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York (CUNY). Kimberley’s current book project examines in/security, memory, Black historiography, and postcoloniality in Jamaica. A second research project explores questions of space colonization, Blackness, and Caribbean afro-futurism. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the University of California Center for New Racial Studies, the University of California Collaboratory for Ethnographic Design, and CUNY.

Mona Sloane is a sociologist working on design and inequality, specifically in the context of AI design and policy. She is a Senior Research Scientist at the NYU Center for Responsible AI, an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, 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. Mona also is the convenor of the IPK Co-Opting AI series and serves as editor of the technology section at Public Books. Follow her on Twitter @mona_sloane.

The Co-Opting AI event series is convened by Mona Sloane. They are 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.

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