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Please join us for “The Ethics of Digital Image Analysis,” a panel that will feature: Alex Hanna (Google), Eunsong Kim (Northeastern University), Luke Stark (University of Western Ontario), and Lauren Tilton (University of Richmond). In this interdisciplinary panel, scholars will speak about various forms of research related to image analysis, with a focus on ethical considerations and research involving images of human subjects. Following presentations from each panelist, there will be a discussion moderated by Laura Nelson (Northeastern University).

Panelists will speak on a range of key topics related to digital research and image analysis. Alex Hanna will talk about the values embedded in computer vision datasets and the role of benchmark datasets in AI development. Luke Stark will discuss how current controversies regarding facial recognition technologies and in particular emotion recognition via the face are grounded in much longer debates around what emotions are, how scientists (mis)understand them, and what those interpretations signify in terms of human motivation.

Bringing together visual culture studies and data science, “distant viewing” offers a theory and method for interrogating how computers “see” and “view.” Lauren Tilton will discuss how this concept has shaped decisions about features to include and not include in projects such as Photogrammar, a digital public humanities project for exploring photography from the Great Depression and World War II. Eunsong Kim will consider the question: how do digital archives perpetuate the dynamics of colonialism and racial capitalism? By taking up how contemporary artists have intervened into notions of the archive, and questioning the occurrence of object reparation, Kim will discuss how the dynamics of colonialism seeps into digital archival practices.

This is a remote event and registration is required. RSVP here. Please RSVP by 5pm EST on February 23.

We will keep the RSVP link open after the deadline, but cannot guarantee that we will be able to share the Zoom link before the start of the panel for any late registrations. 

Speaker Bios

Alex HannaI am a sociologist and senior research scientist on the Ethical AI team at Google. Before that, I was an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology at the University of Toronto. I received my PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My dissertation was the Machine-learning Protest Event Data System (MPEDS), a system which uses machine learning and natural language processing to create protest event data. My current research agenda is two-fold. One line of research centers on origins of the training data which form the informational infrastructure of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic fairness frameworks. Another line of research (with Ellen Berrey) seeks to understand the interplay between student protest and university responses in US and Canada. My past work has focused on how new and social media has changed social movement mobilization and political participation.

Eunsong Kim: Eunsong Kim’s practice spans: poetry, translation, visual culture and critical race & ethnic studies. Her writings have appeared in: Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies AssociationJournal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and in the book anthologies, Poetics of Social Engagement and Reading Modernism with Machines. Her poetry has appeared in the Brooklyn MagazineThe Iowa ReviewMinnesota Review amongst others. She is the author of gospel of regicide, published by Noemi Press in 2017, and with Sung Gi Kim she translated Kim Eon Hee’s poetic text Have You Been Feeling Blue These Days? published in 2019. Her academic book project in progress, The Politics of Collecting: Property & Race in Aesthetic Formation (under contract with Duke University Press) considers how legal notions of property become foundational to avant-garde and modern understandings of innovation in the arts. She is the recipient of the Ford Foundation Fellowship, a grant from the Andy Warhol Art Writers Program, and Yale’s Poynter Fellowship.

Luke Stark: I’m an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies (FIMS) at the University of Western Ontario. I research the ethical, historical, and social impacts of computational technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). I’m particularly animated by how these technologies mediate social and emotional expression, and are reshaping, for better and worse, our relationships to labor, collective action, and each other. My current book project, Ordering Emotion: Histories of Computing and Human Feelings from Cybernetics to AI, is a history of affective computing and the digital quantification of human emotion, from 1950s cybernetics to today’s social media platforms.

Lauren Tilton: Lauren Tilton is Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of Rhetoric & Communication Studies and directs the Distant Viewing Lab at the University of Richmond (USA). Her research focuses on analyzing, developing, and applying computational methods to the study of 20th and 21st century documentary expression and visual culture. She is director of Photogrammar, a digital public humanities project mapping New Deal and World War II documentary photography funded by the NEH and ACLS, and co-author of Humanities Data in R: Exploring Networks, Geospatial Data, Images and Texts (Springer, 2015). Her scholarship has appeared in journals such as American Quarterly, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. The collaborative digital project Voice of a Nation is forthcoming from Stanford University Press, and the book Distant Viewing with Dr. Taylor Arnold is under contract with MIT Press. She serves on the Executive Council of ACH. She received her PhD in American Studies from Yale University.

NULab events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. All spring 2021 NULab events will be virtual. Please contact[at]gmail[dot]com with any questions. 

  • Damini Gawali

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