China's Time to Shine: Why the U.S. Government Shutdown Makes Beijing Happy

The latest superpower dysfunctional spectacular, aka the US shutdown, has forced President Barack Obama to cancel an entire Asian trip. First the White House announced Obama was shutting down Malaysia and the Philippines - supposed stars of the "pivoting to Asia". Then it was finally confirmed he was also shutting down the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Bali on Tuesday and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia summit next Thursday in Brunei. 

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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.

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