Race to the Future? Reimagining the Default Settings of Technology & Society

Event Start Date: February 25, 2021 4:00 PM
Event End Date: February 25, 2021 5:30 PM


Race to the Future? Reimagining the Default Settings of Technology & Society
4:00pm Thursday, February 25, 2021
Virtual Event – Preregister Here to Receive Zoom URL

From everyday apps to complex algorithms, technology has the potential to hide, speed, and deepen discrimination, while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to racist practices of a previous era. This talk explores a range of discriminatory designs that encode inequity – what she terms the β€œNew Jim Code.” This presentation takes us into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements, and provides conceptual tools to decode tech promises with historically and sociologically-informed skepticism. It will also consider how race itself is a kind of tool designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice and discuss how technology is and can be used toward liberatory ends. In doing so, this talk challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold, but also the ones we manufacture ourselves.

Ruha Benjamin is Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she studies the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine. She is also the Founding Director of the IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab, and author of two books: the award-winning Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity Press, 2019) and Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (Duke University Press, 2019). Dr. Benjamin researches and teaches on the relationship between knowledge and power, race and citizenship, health and justice. For more information, visit www.ruhabenjamin.com.