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The Bigot in the Machine
Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2:30PM

Rose Auditorium, The Cooper Union
41 Cooper Square (Third Avenue between 6th & 7th Streets)
New York, NY 10003


From social media to international security, digital algorithms impact our lives in countless ways. Yet algorithms are only as fair as they were programmed to be. And as algorithm-powered technology assumes more authority over law enforcement, welfare systems, and other policy realms, widespread ambivalence about the flawed design of many algorithms has grown. What happens when racism, sexism, and biases against the poor seep into the algorithms that power police patrols, enhanced airport screening, and investigations of welfare fraud? Now that split-second decisions made by machines can impact human lives in lasting ways, how do we react when those machines discriminate against us? Join poet and media activist Malkia Cyril and Thenmozhi Soundararajan, founder of South Asian social justice group Equality Labs, which focuses on internet freedom and digital security. Here, they talk to Adrianne Jeffries about the myth of unbiased AI—and the troubling realities that follow when bias infects the machine. Presented with McSweeney’s, publisher of The End of Trust (McSweeney’s Issue 54)