With the generous support of SCELC and Rockefeller University Press, both #erl17 keynote presentations are available to watch for free online.
OPENING KEYNOTE | ANNA LAUREN HOFFMANN
Today, our “data doubles”—algorithmically-generated, computation-friendly versions of our identities produced by and through digital data—present new challenges for social justice. Among these challenges is the problem of promoting dignity and self-respect, values that provide individuals and groups with a sense that their identities and experiences are valuable and their goals are worth pursuing. For vulnerable or marginalized populations, dignity and self-respect can be undermined by violent actions, symbols, or cultural ideas promoted through mass media, law and policy, or—increasingly—the design of data-intensive systems that seek to sort, evaluate, and rank people according to opaque or biased criteria.In this talk, I position “data doubles” as sites of potential violence—especially when they conflict with our own moral self-perceptions, ideas, and beliefs in ways that implicate our dignity. Through an examination of 1) historical human rights abuses perpetrated through population data, 2) current critical discussions of surveillance, algorithms, and data ethics, and 3) the experiences of transgender women navigating systems that fail to account for their particular identities and bodies, I show how institutionalized and other biases work in and through data-driven systems to deprive certain people of what philosopher John Rawls called “the social bases of self-respect.”
Read more about Anna Lauren here.
CLOSING KEYNOTE | DR. MONICA BULGER
In the past year, we’ve gotten a crash course in ‘fake news,’ ‘alternative facts,’ disinformation, confusion, propaganda, and media overwhelm. This isn’t just a philosophical issue for us, but one that strikes at the core of what we do. How does this affect our daily work as curators and creators of information? As a veteran researcher, I’m facing new challenges in my information search and evaluation processes. There are twin feelings of overwhelm and urgency given the rapidity with which stories seem to surface and fade, and the sheer volume of what seem to be very critical stories emerging daily. At the same time, emerging news is often difficult to triangulate and I sometimes find myself reading sources with which I’m unfamiliar and not trusting that a story getting picked up by mainstream news is verification of its reliability. In this presentation, I will share the challenges of developing and publishing research across different frequencies: Twitter, bi-weekly newsletter, blogging, policy briefs, academic journals. I will discuss the evolving information landscape and its impacts on information collection, vetting, and sense-making.
Read more about Monica here.
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