The Mythology Surrounding Petraeus' Surge in Iraq Will Keep Us Trapped in Afghanistan

The United States is stalled in a hopeless conflict in Afghanistan in large part because its foreign policy establishment, aided by an often-vacuous media, has come to believe its own spin about General David Petraeus’ "success" turning around the occupation in Iraq. The fact that Iraq remains a shattered country with an active insurgency seven years after the United States invaded -- and that any improvement in security was due to developments on the ground that were unique to the country -- hasn’t shaken their faith.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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