America will say 'boy, that was bad' after coronavirus: top government public health official

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the federal government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the past 35 years, is one of the most respected public health officials in Washington, D.C. And right now he’s battling two outbreaks: COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that’s crossing the nation and the globe, and President Donald Trump’s pressure for him to provide ammunition so he can lie to the American people about the impending pandemic.

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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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