What the phase 1 trials of the first COVID-19 vaccine really mean

Sgt. Nicholas Shepherd, a practical nursing specialist, assigned to Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force 352-2, performs a swab test on a nursing home worker at the Royal Suites Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Galloway Township, N.J., May 5, 2020. Testing residents in nursing homes is crucial due to the high infection rate of COVID-19. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the whole-of-nation COVID-19 response. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Miguel Pena)
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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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