Bill Barr's arrogance and insolence is actually just a cover for the fact that he's clueless

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, listens as U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks Thursday, July 11, 2019, in the Rose Garden of the White House to expand on President Trump’s Executive Order requiring every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and non-citizens in the United States. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Many of us have long warned that this fall would see a dirty campaign without precedent, that Donald Trump would stop at nothing to foment chaos, and so forth. But up till now there has been a certain abstractness about it. Who knew exactly what form it would take and whether it would have any real effect?

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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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