Discussion of Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin

February 26, 2021 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Social Justice and Tech Reading Group

Abstract: In Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, Benjamin discusses the relationship between machine bias and systemic racism, analyzing specific cases of “discriminatory design” and offering tools for a socially-conscious approach to tech development. Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype, from everyday apps to complex algorithms, to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity. Presenting the concept of “the new Jim Code,” she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encode inequity by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies; by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions; or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Chapters 4 and 5 will be discussed during this final session.

Benjamin’s text is available for free as an eBook through the University Library System.

Information to register is available here.

Sponsored by the Sara Fine Institute of the School of Computing and Information and Pitt Research

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