Gender & AI: Queering Technology
Prof. Dr. Michelle Christensen | Prof. Dr. Florian Conradi
Gender & AI: Queering Technology
E-Blockseminar, English, 4 SWS, 2 ECTS, 5 Places
Notice: 2 SWS can be obtained within the framework of the Studium Generale and 2 SWS can be obtained within the framework of a free elective.
Block 1: 21.-25.9.2020, 10-18 Uhr, Block 2: 28.-29.9.2020,
Please register beforehand to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Do artificially intelligent systems reflect a certain gender, race or class? What and whose politics is currently being consolidated in algorithmic culture? As AI finds its way into the mundanity of everyday life, constantly scanning and categorising us to provide the highest level of comfort and efficiency, the systems that surround us are increasingly mediating our bodies, actions and behaviours. Search engine queries, autocomplete functions, auto-image tagging, personal aides, smart-speakers, wearables – all nicely displayed and packaged to ease our regular routines. Currently, however, we can witness a great deal of concealed racial and gender bias in the design of these systems and objects – be it through ‘personal assistants’ with female names and voices or soap dispensers that only works on white hands.
In this block-seminar we will take an applied and interdisciplinary approach to exploring forms of bias in the design of AI. We will locate real-world examples on the topic, engage personally with the systems, and inspired by approaches from queer and feminist theory and technology – we will prototype forms of 'hacking back'.
Michelle Christensen is a sociologist and designer, exploring the spaces in between these realms. Her research interests include trans- and postdisciplinarity, the politics of objects and the social dimension of 'thingness'. She wrote her Ph.D. in the field of Design Research at UdK Berlin, prior to which she studied political sociology at Roskilde University in Denmark (B.A.), conflict studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands (M.A.), gender studies at the University of Amsterdam (M.Sc.), and integrated design at the Köln International School of Design in Cologne (M.A.). She has worked at the Crisis Department of Amnesty International USA, was a Humanity in Action Fellow, and a Congressional Fellow in the United States Congress in Washington DC. As a researcher she has worked at the Design Research Lab (UdK Berlin), the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Currently, she heads a research group on critical making at the UdK Berlin / Weizenbaum Institute together with Florian Conradi, as well as teaching as a visiting professor for open science at the Technische Universität Berlin / Einstein Center Digital Future.
Florian Conradi studied communication design at the University of Applied Sciences Mainz (Diplom FH) and at the Art Department of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. He went on to complete an M.F.A. in Design at the Sandberg Institute (Gerrit Rietveld Academie) in Amsterdam, an M.A. in integrated design at the Köln International School of Design in Cologne, and wrote his Ph.D. in the field of Design Research at the UdK Berlin. Since 2008 he has been initiating sociopolitical design projects with institutions in the field of critical media and political advocacy, carrying out field research in Europe, as well as in the Middle East, East and West Africa. He has taught critical approaches to design and design methods at amongst other places the Köln International School of Design, the UdK Berlin, and as a visiting professor at the international Master program in Integrated Design at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau. Currently he is a visiting professor at the Technische Universität Berlin / Einstein Center Digital Future, as well as heading a research group on critical making at the UdK Berlin / Weizenbaum Institute together with Michelle Christensen.