Apr 19 – 25

Coded Bias (2020) - IMDb

The Social Dilemma / Coded Bias

I was supposed to watch the Social Dilemma this week, but I’ve already seen that and I saw a preview for Coded Bias that looked interesting, so I watched that instead.

This doc showed proof of institutionalized racism beyond what we’ve previously understood to be “institutions.” I think that I understood institutions to be infrastructure, people, and systems that uphold racism, and although now I realize that it makes a lot of sense that that includes code and computers as well, I hadn’t thought about it before. I also just don’t think about computers or coding a lot, because I don’t know much about it and it doesn’t really apply to my life as much as other “institutions” might.

I also wanted to note that this documentary in particular featured more women in STEM than I think I had ever seen in any documentary. It’s not like in previous documentaries I had noticed, “man, this film doesn’t have a lot of women,” but of course, that’s because we live in a patriarchy where men in STEM is the norm, so naturally I wouldn’t notice if there weren’t any women. But this film had a LOT of women, which was really cool to see and really empowering.

Essentially, artificial intelligence learns quickly and instantly from the information with which it is provided. We, as humans, only have access to so much information but AI has literally the entire world of information, and it has learned white supremacy and bias against colored people, in particular colored women. SCIENCE and DATA exists that PROVES not only that PEOPLE have bias but MACHINES have bias as well. And the whole point in the doc that they were trying to make is that clearly, we need to BE the change, because if even machines can’t do something right then how are we supposed to be able to? And how can we continue to let machines make decisions when we know that they are flawed?

Just crazy stuff. Hard to think about. But I also found myself like JLo several times during the movie:

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Preach it, sister