Are We Killing Drug Addicts Like Amy Winehouse?

On Monday, Amy Winehouse's parents released a statement disclosing the surprising results of the 27-year-old soul singer's autopsy. The media has widely speculated on her cause of death, with her hit "Rehab" setting an eerie backdrop to what many expected to be a drug overdose. But according to the family, autopsy results indicate that there were no illegal drugs in Winehouse's system. And while the autopsy showed alcohol was present in her system, toxicology reports have not yet determined whether it played a role in Winehouse's death.  

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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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