Three Minnesota teens arrested for kicking Asian woman after viral video identifies suspects

Kristoffer Trolle Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Crimes against Asian Americans continue to rise in the U.S. amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many Asian Americans fear not only contracting COVID-19 but being subject to hate crimes when leaving their homes for necessary items, CNN reported. Within four weeks of the website’s launch in March, an online anti-Asian bias tracker received almost 1,500 reported cases of violence as a result of COVID-19 towards Asian Americans. Incidents are being shared on social media nationwide in which Asian Americans are facing both verbal and physical violence in public spaces.

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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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