The "Dark Side" of AI: Technological Oppression in the Modern Era

Speaker: Lauren Chambers

How do we identify, understand, and resist the negative implications of widespread adoption of artificial intelligence?

As hype and excitement grows around algorithmic technologies and artificial intelligence, it's more important than ever to understand the broad impacts that AI can have on our society. Especially when governments adopt harmful technologies, or use technology in inappropriate ways, the scale of harm can be massive. Indeed, from facial recognition to social media tracking to 'predictive' policing, AI technology is increasingly being used to aid state oppression. In this talk, we explore the "dark side" of AI, using current events and government records to demonstrate examples of how AI is being used by governments to restrict civil rights - from China, to Israel, to right here at home in the United States. We will explore questions like: What is AI, anyway? Which AI-based technologies are governments using? What sorts of harms can government use of AI cause? How do we find out? And, finally, what can we do about it? 

About the Speaker

Lauren Chambers is a Ph.D. student at the UC Berkeley School of Information, where she studies the intersection of data, technology, and sociopolitical advocacy. Previously Lauren was the staff technologist at the ACLU of Massachusetts, where she explored government data in order to inform citizens and lawmakers about the effects of legislation and political leadership on our civil liberties. At the ACLU, Lauren gave over 20 talks about advocacy and surveillance technologies. Lauren received her Bachelor's degree from Yale in 2017, where she double-majored in astrophysics and African American studies, and she spent two years after graduation in Baltimore supporting NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope mission as a software developer.

Suggested Audiences

Age: 8th - 12th grade and community college; younger students will also benefit but they may find some concepts challenging.

Preparation: Younger students may benefit from reviewing a vocabulary list ahead of time.

Courses: relevant to many subjects; reviewers specifically noted History-Social Science (US, World, Ethnic Studies, Geography, Global Studies), Health/Life Skills, Administrative Justice, Journalism, Computer Science, any course where GIS is taught

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