Why Rick Perry Would Put the World on a Fast Track to Total Meltdown

Burned trees, charred wildlife, destroyed homes — Texas has endured more than 16,000 wildfires since January, which have consumed over 3 million acres of land. With little rain, the state has become a tinderbox. Bloomberg reports that drought in Texas has resulted in $5.2 billion of agricultural losses ... and still counting. The state climatologist pegged the drought as the “worst single-year dry spell in 116 years,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. The town of Robert Lee in West Texas has seen its water supply dwindle to 1 percent and West Kemp is out of water.

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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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