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Responses and Challenges to the Critical AI discourse
Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

LABOR

A guest post by Julian Posada. Julian is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty of Information of the University of Toronto. His dissertation, Unsustainable Data Work, investigates the experiences of workers in Latin America who annotate data for artificial intelligence through digital labour platforms. Twitter: @JulianPosada0

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

Every day, Melba wakes up at 4:00 AM in Venezuela to annotate data for machine learning algorithms. She is one of…


Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

LANGUAGE | JUSTICE

A guest post by Lujain Ibrahim. Lujain is a Schwarzman Scholar studying for a Master’s degree in Global Affairs with concentrations in technology, policy, and education at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Twitter: @lujainmibrahim

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

Over 300 million people speak Arabic, making it the 5th most spoken language in the world. Yet, language is in no way a static or neutral medium of communication. As it shapes discourse…


Illustrations by Somnath Bhatt

EMPATHY

A guest post by Hannah Zeavin. Hannah is a Lecturer in the Departments of English and History at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy (MIT Press 2021). Twitter: @HZeavin.

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

Debates around empathy in AI are everywhere: should we feel for our machines? Do they feel for us? How can we build, code, and design machines towards the…


Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

BLACK WOMEN BEST

A guest post by Serena Oduro. Serena is a Research Analyst on the Policy team at Data & Society. Her writing and research interests include AI policy and regulation, Black feminism + AI, Black philosophies + AI, and everyday Black life. Twitter: @SerenaOduro.

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

“The fact is that the US economy was built in large part upon Black women’s labor and bodies; Black women’s consistent economic insecurity and…


Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

POWER

A guest post by David M. Liu and Sarah Sakha. David is a computer science Ph.D. student in Khoury College at Northeastern University. Sarah is a Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Officer at the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

The increasing emphasis and reliance on specialized, high-performance computational resources in AI research threaten to deepen power imbalances. To explore this issue, we examined the growing proportion of research papers…


Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

SURVEILLANCE

A guest post by Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, a grassroots community organizing to abolish police surveillance in Los Angeles. Twitter: @stoplapdspying

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

Surveillance and data collection have long been advanced by colonizers getting together to decide how Black and brown people should be controlled. Today, policing is among the U.S.’s most violent methods of racial control, and efforts to improve, refine, and calibrate police surveillance through police reform…


Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

FACE IDENTITY TECHNOLOGY | RECOGNITION

A guest post by Asvatha Babu. Asvatha is a PhD candidate at American University’s School of Communication and a Doctoral Researcher at the Internet Governance Lab, studying emerging technologies and new media. Twitter: @fireflyclass

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

There is no word for facial recognition technology (FRT) in Tamil. Instead, local news reporters talking about the technology in Tamil Nadu, India, have resorted to the use of close alternatives like mugam…


Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

CARE

A guest by Xiaowei Wang. Xiaowei is the Creative Director at Logic Magazine, and recently published a book, Blockchain Chicken Farm. Their work centers community empowerment, technology and ecology. Twitter: @xrw

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

AI systems are more than the algorithms themselves. Behind these systems are a host of political and economic forces, as well as a complex mosaic of hidden labor. This essay explores the logic of care and…


Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

RESOLUTION

A New AI Lexicon: Resolution

Seeing Like an Infrastructure

A guest post by Ranjit Singh. Ranjit has a doctorate in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Cornell University, and is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the AI on the Ground Initiative of Data & Society Research Institute.

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

\ ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən \

Definition:

  1. the act or process of resolving: such as
  2. the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones
  3. the act of determining
  4. the process or…


Illustration by Somnath Bhatt

RECOGNITION

A guest post by Nina Dewi Toft Djanegara. Nina is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her research examines how technology — such as facial recognition, biometric scanners, satellites, and drones — is applied in border management and law enforcement. Twitter: @toftdjanegara

This essay is part of our ongoing “AI Lexicon” project, a call for contributions to generate alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI.

This week, we co-published with Fast Company. You can find the essay on their site here.

In the last five…

A New AI Lexicon

Responses and Challenges to the Critical AI discourse

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