If You Inject a Stream of Raw Ignorance Into a Vat of Gaseous Arrogance, Then Jolt the Mixture with 1,000 Megawatts of Malevolence ... What Does It Produce?

Let's start with the arrogance. King Donald the First has been in a deep pout over negative articles about him in the Washington Post newspaper, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, King of the Amazon.com empire. Trump has fired off several rounds of angry tweets assailing Bezos, including a potshot claiming that Amazon is ripping off the post office by underpaying for the millions of its packages that the postal services ships.

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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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