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Social Justice Summit

Wednesday, September 29, 2021
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

"In Light of a Future We Have Yet to Make": Social Justice Summit

Location: Odeum A/B/C and via Zoom or YouTube

Link to join via Zoom: https://wpi.zoom.us/j/99750483901 

Watch via YouTube: https://youtu.be/59bw43QG8ac

Hosted by: Laureen Elgert, Associate Professor, Social Science & Policy Studies; Yunus Telliel, Assistant Professor, Humanities & Arts; Rob Krueger, Head of Social Science & Policy Studies, and WPI’s Public Interest Technology Initiative.

  • 1:00 - 2:30: Public Interest Technology, Artificial Intelligence, and Social Justice 

What are the practical implications of an AI-enabled world? As we think about the possibilities for digital campuses, corporations and communities in the future, it is important to keep in mind the limits of technology in solving social problems. Despite the optimistic promises of digital evangelists, it has become clear that most large-scale software systems exacerbate existing social inequality—especially in the case of racial injustice.

In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology, and explains why we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against “technochauvinism”—the belief that technology is always the solution—Broussard looks at why facial recognition amplifies racism, why algorithms reproduce inequality, and why social problems persist in every digital Utopia. If we understand the limits of what we *can* do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we *should* do with it to achieve algorithmic justice and create technology that works in the public interest.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University, research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and the author of “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World.” She appears in the documentary “Coded Bias,” now streaming on Netflix. Contact her on Twitter @merbroussard or via meredithbroussard.com

  • 2:45 - 5:00: "Shining a Light Beneath our Surface: Sharing our Stories, Building Communities" Storytelling performances by TMI (Too Much Information) Project  NOTE: This session will be available in-person only.

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