A breakdown of the Force — and what its patterns could mean for 'Rise of Skywalker'

Berlin, Germany - March 2017: Master Yoda wax figure in Madame Tussaud's museum, image via Shutterstock.

The "Star Wars" movies teach that humility is a crucial component of wisdom, and certainly I have been humbled as I've attempted to scrape the surface of "Star Wars" lore for this article. Make no mistake about it: I consider myself to be a bona fide "Star Wars" nerd. I've seen every movie (including rewatches for this piece), watched every episode of "The Mandalorian," caught bits and pieces of the TV series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" and consumed "Star Wars"-related commentary media like the legendary Mr. Plinkett review of "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace."

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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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