Dream On, Beltway Pundits - the 'Grownups' in the Trump Administration Won't Save Us from His Presidency

Back in January of 2001, after a protracted post-election legal battle that ended with the Supreme Court seating George W. Bush in a 5-4 partisan decision, the Beltway establishment was giddy that the jejune Clinton administration was finally out of office and responsible adult leadership was back in town. The late conservative commentator Kate O’Beirne memorably put it this way on the eve of the inaugural:

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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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