Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence: A Conversation with Dr. Kate Crawford

Join the Sara Fine Institute at SCI and the Information Ecosystems Sawyer Seminar on April 28 at 5-6pm for a virtual event with Dr. Kate Crawford. Dr. Crawford will be in conversation with SCI faculty member Malihe Alikhani.  Please register for the event to receive the Zoom Webinar link.

In this talk, Dr. Kate Crawford shares a preview of her new book Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence, published by Yale in April 2021. Atlas of AI explores the historical origins, labor practices, infrastructures, and epistemological assumptions that underlie the contemporary artificial intelligence. Rather than taking a narrow focus on code and algorithms, Dr. Crawford offers a political and a material perspective of how AI is "made:" from lithium mines in Nevada, to the exploited workers behind "automated" systems, to the regimes of classification in training data. This talk outlines how AI functions as a registry of power, which has only amplified during the pandemic at a time of deepening inequality around the world.

Dr. Kate Crawford (she/her) is a leading scholar of the social and political implications of artificial intelligence. Her work has focused on understanding large-scale data systems, machine learning and AI in the wider contexts of history, politics, labor, and the environment. She is a Research Professor of Communication and STS at USC Annenberg, a Senior Principal Researcher at MSR-NYC, and she currently holds the inaugural Visiting Chair for AI and Justice at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, In 2021, she will be the Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney. Her academic research has been published in journals such as Nature, New Media & Society, Science, Technology & Human Values and Information, Communication & Society. Kate’s work also includes collaborative art projects and visual investigations. Her project Anatomy of an AI System with Vladan Joler – which maps the full lifecycle of the Amazon Echo– won the Beazley Design of the Year Award in 2019, and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She also collaborated with the artist Trevor Paglen to produce Training Humans – the first major exhibition of the images used to train AI systems. Their investigative essay, Excavating AI, won the Ayrton Prize from the British Society for the History of Science. Crawford's latest book, Atlas of AI, is published by Yale University Press in 2021. 

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