10 Resources for Social Workers to Learn More About Tech Justice Futures Right Now

As all know…technology is ever shaping our shared world. What is the right “stance” for social workers? Lean into new tech opportunities – explore, experiment or develop new applications? Or resist, interrogate and complicate deployment of tech and datafication of modern life? The truth is that the answer is probably “both,” and definitely not “hide and avoid it all…” Most urgently – social workers need to plug in and learn with gusto. Tech remains a fast moving space with huge implications for justice, solution-building, equity, access to resources and more. Tech justice-related learning should be a regular priority for every social worker in practice and every social work student. This is a list of some of my favorite and most important learning spaces/tools/resources!

  1. Amy Webb’s books the Big Nine and the Genesis Machine – two great resources to learn about the power of big tech companies and the future of AI, as well as the emerging futures of synthetic biology and biotech and the implications it may have on the future of humanity.
  2. New White House Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights (October 2022) – developed by the The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
  3. Oracle for Transfeminist Technology game and resource. Learning tools and community.
  4. Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures (2020) – Astrea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
  5. More good reads:

Danielle Citron – The Fight for Privacy

Nita A. Farahany – Battle for Your Brain

Orley Lobel – The Equality Machine

Kate Crawford – The Atlas of AI

Safiya Noble – Algorithms of Oppression

Ruha Benjamin – Viral Justice (and MUST READ: Race After Technology)

Caroline Criado Perez – Invisible Women

Meredith Broussard – More Than a Glitch

Cathy O’Neil – The Shame Machine

Julie Cohen – Between Truth and Power

6. Research Institutes:

UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry

Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab

Algorithmic Justice League (MUST WATCH related film: Coded Bias)

Data for Black Lives

Feminist AI  

Indigenous AI

Queer AI

Black in AI

Data Justice Lab

Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

New America’s Open Technology Institute

7. ACLU’s Algorithmic Equity Toolkit

8. Disrupting the gospel of tech solutionism to build tech justice and related Just Tech Network

9. Articles/Reports: What is Data Justice? The Case for Connecting Digital Rights and Freedoms Globally (2017). Linnet Taylor – and – Exploring Data Justice: Conceptions, Applications and Directions (2019). Lina Dencik, Arne Hintz, Joanna Redden & Emiliano Treré, Humanitarian Digital Ethics: A Foresight and Decolonial Governance Response (2022), Aarathi Krishnan.

10. United Nations Strategy on New Technologies

P.S. If you want more…here’s my much more indepth scan from 2021 – includes many more detailed issues specific to social work and is AI-specific.

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