Data Futures with a Feminist Lens
What happens when you cross data science with feminism? Well – you get data feminism. Authors of a new book by this title Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein suggest that the way we approach data science, the way that we view, apply and understand data can be enhanced by careful examination of their (non-feminist) origins and that revisions to our thinking and methods for humanity are warranted. It comes out in March of 2020 – but reading the previews has definitely got me wanting more!
AI for Good – Is it Really?
I’m not sure I agree with each and everything in this piece but I really appreciate the effort to “complicate” the idea that “AI for Good” is just automatically so. In fact many of the challenges presented deserve careful, ethical consideration. I respect and appreciate this article. Here’s another piece that explores some of the same ideas with a slightly different flavor.
Future of Higher Education
Here’s an article about the “new” split higher education economy – that of online and traditional. It echos a lot of other literature on this topic but clearly shows that the shift many have been considering is happening and likely will not turn back.
Also – more sobering projections about the future of higher education and the coming enrollment “crash.” Along those lines – here’s a helpful overview of declining state support of higher education and the stinging impact this has and will have.
I have seen numerous articles in the last year (and have included a few of them here) regarding a new kind of “privilege” – the privilege to opt out of algorithms and surveillance of various kinds. This new(ish) article is another in that category and worth a quick look. The authors suggest that the new digital divide is between people who opt out of algorithms and people who don’t.
Other explorations are increasingly considering a power analysis of AI now and in this future. This piece explores “when algorithms decide whose voices will be heard” and this one is called “AI ethics is all about power.” This type of power analysis is important and useful as we make sense of and track our work as social workers.
On that note, I did run across an article from our UK social work colleagues about how they view AI-enabled social work practice.
As always, I’m gathering a variety of items that comment on the issue of AI bias and how to counter it. Here, here and here. Lastly, here’s a new piece from the LA Times called “Rules for a new surveillance reality.“
Is Data the New Oil?
Everyone is using this phrase now…and folks are still arguing a bit about its accuracy. Here’s a great article that makes this case for its validity. I found the various categories to help us understand how your data, my data, everyone’s data is being used (not that I’m always a fan of this!!).
Thoughtful AI Requires Intelligent Human Participation
Here’s another review of a new forthcoming book called The Future Computed by Brand Smith and Harry Shum with some thoughtful ideas about a fast arriving future centering AI as significant driver. The discussion of potential AI-related job loss is notable, and the principles they assert (AI should be fair, trustworthy, transparent and controllable” are important.
Eco-Anxiety and Eco-Grief
I’ve had numerous interactions in the past couple of weeks with the concept of eco-anxiety and eco-grief. Here’s a brief piece I ran across online. But additionally, I’ve met a couple of people who are involved in self-help community eco-grief groups organized by the Good Grief Network. CBS did a story about this back in August.