The Cancer Letter | 11.16.18
As AI becomes integrated into different facets of our lives, Data & Society Researcher Kadija Ferryman joins Robert A. Winn in considering what this means for the field of health.
“How can we bring together the excitement for the possibilities of AI in medicine with the sobering reality of stubborn health disparities that remain despite technological advances?”
Data & Society INFRA Lead Ingrid Burrington traces the history of Silicon Valley and its residents.
“Now San Jose has an opportunity to lift up these workers placed at the bottom of the tech industry as much as the wealthy heroes at its top. If Google makes good on the “deep listening” it has promised, and if San Jose residents continue to challenge the company’s vague promises, the Diridon project might stand a chance of putting forth a genuinely visionary alternative to the current way of life in the Santa Clara Valley and the founder-centric, organized-labor-allergic ideology of Silicon Valley. If it does, San Jose might yet justify its claim to be the center of Silicon Valley—if not as its capital, at least as its heart.”
Data & Society Operations Assistant Richard Salame applies taylorism to Amazon’s new wristbands that track workers’ movements.
“Amazon’s peculiar culture notwithstanding, the wristbands in many ways don’t offer anything new, technologically or conceptually. What has changed is workers’ ability to challenge this kind of surveillance.”
In this essay, D&S Fellow Taeyoon Choi interrogates technology designed for those with disabilities.
“Even with the most advanced technology, disability can not and—sometimes should not—disappear from people. There are disabled people whose relationship with their own bodily functions and psychological capabilities cannot be considered in a linear movement from causation to result, where narratives of technology as cure override the real varieties in people’s needs and conditions and falsely construct binary states—one or the other, abled or disabled—shadowing everything between or outside of those options.”
In the essay, Data & Society INFRA Lead Ingrid Burrington grounds technological development in the environment.
“While the aforementioned narratives are strategic in their own worlds, they tend to maintain the premise that the environmental cost of technology is still orthogonal or an externality to the more diffuse, less obviously material societal implications of living in an Information Age. The politics of a modern world increasingly defined by data mining may only exist because of literal open-pit mining, but the open pit is more often treated as a plot pivot than a natural through-line: Sure, you feel bad about a social media site being creepy, but behold, the hidden environmental devastation wrought by your iPhone—doesn’t that make you feel even worse?”
D&S INFRA Lead Ingrid Burrington reflects on the concept of the future in anticipation of the upcoming show Futureproof that she curated at Haverford College.
“Trying to build alternative futures is often a process of facing that haunting spectre: finding life or potential by invoking and living with the ghosts and weird spirits of a world that could have been. Often, the interface for visiting these particular ghosts isn’t the medium or Ouija board but the archive, which is partly why so many of the works in Futureproof take on an archivist, museological tone. The alternative archive is historical evidence of a shift in the timeline, its own kind of proof that another timeline is not only possible, but has already happened, is already happening and emergent before us.”
Jack Flynn and Data & Society Research Analyst Kinjal Dave examine the role of the Koch brothers at Villanova.
“In order to preserve academic freedom and integrity on campus, the university must introduce substantive measures improving transparency and visibility surrounding the influence of outside donors on campus.”
Quartz | 01.15.17
D&S affiliate Gideon Litchfield writes a short story called ‘Democracy 3.0’