« Digital Humanities Virtual Seminar 2023 »: Mike Annany (USC Annenberg)

As part of the 2023 edition of the « Digital Humanities Virtual Seminar » series organized by the CRIHN, the Thinc Lab (Guelph), The Humanities Data Lab (Ottawa), and the Center for Digital Humanities (Toronto Metropolitan U) around the theme of « Communities », Mike Annany (USC Annenberg) will present a talk entitled « Seeing Like an Algorithmic Error: What are Algorithmic Mistakes, Why do They Matter, How Might they be Public Problems? » on Friday 17 February 2023 @ 11am via zoom:

As digital devices, massive datasets, and machine learning techniques proliferate, computational algorithms increasingly, invisibly, and often inexplicably shape many social, political, and cultural dynamics. In everything from law and politics to commerce and art, algorithms are powerful structuring logics and sociotechnical forces. But what does it mean when algorithms “fail”? What do we learn about the logics and forces that create algorithms when they are seen to have erred or made a mistake? Seeing algorithms as culture, I argue that algorithmic errors are similarly constructs made by intertwined computational, psychological, organizational, infrastructural, discursive, and normative forces. In this talk I tell three stories of algorithmic error, illustrate their sociotechnical dynamics, and examine the institutional and normative forces that define “failure.” Instead of seeing algorithmic errors as unavoidable or self-evident, I instead see them as evidence of how people think systems should work, who has the power to declare failure, which harms trigger which fixes, and how defining and repairing algorithmic mistakes bounds public problems. 

Mike Ananny is an Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism and Affiliated Faculty of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he studies the public significance of digital infrastructures, journalistic practices, and algorithmic systems. He co-directs the interdisciplinary USC collective MASTS (Media As SocioTechnical Systems) and the Sloan Foundation project Knowing Machines (with Kate Crawford and Jason Schultz).  He is the author of Networked Press Freedom (MIT Press, 2018), co-editor (with Laura Forlano and Molly Wright Steenson) of Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019), and publishes in various interdisciplinary domains.

[The video of this talk is now available.]

The other speakers in the 2023 series are:

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 6 mars 2023 à 8 h 38 min.