New technologies aren't neutral. They're designed by us, and they can be an expression of our values... and our biases. That doesn't necessarily mean a technologist or a tech company consciously sets out to skew technology in a particular way. But the questions we ask, or don't, about a new technology shape how it can be used. So this time: questions. About technology, power, protest, and democracy.
+ The now-cancelled Sidewalk Labs project aimed to create the most measurable community in the world. But would that have turned into a form of high tech surveillance embedded in the built environment? Richard Lachman, the director of Zone Learning and the Experiential Media Institute at Ryerson University, believes the project helped reveal some needed repairs to our privacy and data protections.
+ Technology is often claimed to be neutral. Sure, it can be used for good or ill, but the technology itself doesn't have politics. Not so, argues Ruha Benjamin in Race After Technology. Discriminatory design can perpetuate inequality, reinforcing systemic racism, all while under a cloak of neutrality or even progressivism. In this conversation she discusses the current climate of surveillance and how race itself is used as a kind of technology.