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Technology Equity and Inclusion : Technology and Equity
McIlwain, Charlton. “Of Course Technology Perpetuates Racism. It Was Designed That Way.” MIT Technology Review, vol. 123, no. 4, July 2020, p. 12. EBSCOhost
The article discusses the alleged role of public health technology in perpetuating racism and racial stereotypes since the Simulmatics company's voter profile and data collection tool in the 1960's. The author examines the role of contact tracing and other health surveillance tools in managing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the alleged disparate social impact of such tools on Black Americans.
Hatch, Anthony Ryan. “New Technologies of Resistance.” Radical History Review, vol. 2017, no. 127, Jan. 2017, p. 125. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1215/01636545-3690906.
"No longer exclusively reliant on traditional corporate media to cover racism, African Americans increasingly use their smartphones and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with one another about what is going on in their own communities, nationally and globally, and when, where, and how to protest against racist violence."
"...the space of social media is a private space that, compared to the public square activisms of the 1950s and 1960s, can more easily be targeted for surveillance and harassment."
Racial neutrality does not exist within digital and virtual spaces. Our racialized identities are imported into these spaces, as are the ideologies of our respective societies. This reality begs the question, how do Black people situate themselves in digital White leisure spaces, especially when these spaces maintain and replicate off-line spaces of racial discrimination and overt racism? This article presents a background on Black Internet users and highlights how Black people have used digital spaces to counter and disrupt messages that perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes and social inequalities. Examples are offered to support this claim. This article underlines how behaviors of Black people in digital spaces can demonstrate the presence of Black leisure and highlight the realities of Black life. Finally, critical technocultural discourse analysis will be introduced as a technique for advancing this discussion within the context of race and leisure.
"The part which sets people back the most is access to training. Most professors we spoke to felt that the digital inequity, which starts early in life, especially middle school, is what sets people back the most in the digital generation."
"The big thinkers of tech say A.I. is the future. It will underpin everything from search engines and email to the software that drives our cars, directs the policing of our streets and helps create our vaccines.
But it is being built in a way that replicates the biases of the almost entirely male, predominantly white work force making it."
"Black individuals whose posts were about racism were evaluated less favorably than Black individuals whose posts were race neutral. Specifically, they were perceived as being less likable. In addition, Black individuals whose social media posts were related to racism were less likely to be offered an interview for a job."
MAY 7, 2019 from the Pew Research Center:
Roughly three-in-ten adults with household incomes below $30,000 a year (29%) don’t own a smartphone. More than four-in-ten don’t have home broadband services (44%) or a traditional computer (46%). And a majority of lower-income Americans are not tablet owners. By comparison, each of these technologies is nearly ubiquitous among adults in households earning $100,000 or more a year.
JULY 14, 2020 from WPR: Wisconsin currently ranks 30th in the nation for broadband coverage.
More than 5.4 million residents, or roughly 93 percent of the state's population, now have access to broadband internet in Wisconsin, according to the most recent data from the Federal Communications Commission. However, challenges with access remain in rural areas of the state, where roughly 398,000 people or nearly 23 percent of the rural population lack high-speed internet. The number of rural residents lacking broadband access has decreased from 748,000 in 2018.
SEP 8, 2020 from the Reedsburg Times-Press: More than 40% of rural residents lack access to high-speed internet, according to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. Nationally, about 31 % of rural households lack access. Actual percentages might even be higher due to poor FCC mapping, experts say.
Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'NeilWe live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives--where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance--are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O'Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true.
The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can't get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he's then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a "toxic cocktail for democracy." Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.