What a picture of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a bikini tells us about the disturbing future of AI

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There are two readings associated with this week's topic:

  • The first reading is very accessible: Arwa Mahdawi makes the case that "discrimination [is] being baked into tech". The people creating that tech? Mathematicians and computer scientists.

    Arwa's article has links to several articles which you might check out, such as

    Let me give you a very personal example. My wife (who is Togolese) is very dark-skinned; I am very light-skinned. When we Zoom (as we have been doing a lot during this pandemic), we sometimes use a virtual background; when we do, my wife is far more likely to "disappear" than I am. We jokingly accuse Zoom of racial bias, but IT'S NO JOKE. Similarly, when taking pictures in Africa with cameras that have an "auto focus" feature, many will zoom right in on a white person in sea of black folks. Now why is that? It's not chance...:)

  • The second reading is technical. I noticed that some of you were saying in the discussion that you wished that you knew more about the source material (for Global Warming, say). Well, be careful what you wish for! </p>
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