A new vision of artificial intelligence for the people

Karen Hao follows the workings of AI colonialism to a remote New Zealand town for MIT Technology Review.

In turning to AI to help revive te reo, the Māori language, Mahelona and Jones, who is Māori, wanted to do things differently. They overcame resource limitations to develop their own language AI tools, and created mechanisms to collect, manage, and protect the flow of Māori data so it won’t be used without the community’s consent, or worse, in ways that harm its people.

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Surveillance Publishing

At Elephant in the Lab, Jefferson Pooley details the metrics and surveillance systems at the heart of academic infrastructures.

Scholarly publishing is its own, emerging surveillance economy. We can call a company a surveillance publisher if it derives a substantial proportion of its revenue from prediction products, fueled by data extracted from researcher behavior. On that definition, we already have surveillance publishers in our midst.

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the html review

Issue 01 of the html review, an annual journal of literature made to exist on the web, is out.

the html review was started out of a yearning for more outlets comfortable with pieces built for our screens, writing that leverages our computational networked tools, both new and old, for the art of language, narrative, and exploration.

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Feminist by Design

This collection, edited by Mariana Fossatti, Tigist Shewarega Hussen and Namita Aavriti Malhotra, brings together contributions dealing with the question of how to build a feminist internet.

What are the possibilities of more accessible research outputs and what could be the trajectories of feminist intersectional investments in digital media in the times of anti-gender and anti-rights discourse? There is considerable focus on feminist practices of reflexivity that intentionally explore the messiness of feminist research and research design. This means looking closely at feminist methodologies, feminist ways of knowing in the field of internet research, highlighting questions and concerns around what complications are introduced by the field of the internet itself. It also means translating feminist intentions into building infrastructure, doing participatory research, and exploring the contradictions of standpoint theory and power imbalances inherent in research.

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State of the Internet’s Languages

In this report, researchers from Whose Knowledge?, the Oxford Internet Institute, and the Centre for Internet and Society ask what a truly multilingual internet would look like.

For the past few years, we’ve been working in our own ways to understand knowledge inequalities and injustice on the internet: who contributes to the content online and how? We soon realized that there was very little data on knowledge in different languages on the internet. Then we wanted to find out more: what is the extent to which the world’s languages are on the internet right now? How multilingual is the internet? Our exploration was limited only to a few areas in which we could find useful public and open information, but we hope it will be another contribution for all of us who are striving for a multilingual internet.

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Software Doldrums

In their recent LibrePlanet keynote, the artist collective Hundred Rabbits discussed dangers and shortcomings of relying on always-online proprietary platforms — and their experience building their own tools for their creative practice.

For five years, we lived in remote parts of the world, and during this time we saw firsthand how the modern-day computing stack fails and degrades beyond the shores of the western world. This experience raised a lot of questions: How do we keep creating when the tools we use eat away at our limited power and connectivity? And how do we make sure they work when we need them to?

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Scoring the U.S. Working Class

At FocaalBlog, Don Nonini considers the pandemic as a turning point for the U.S. working class in the context of digitalization, which is increasingly converging with expropriation:

Working-class people in the United States are now at a turning point – whether to compliantly return to the pre-Covid conditions capital set for them, or to shift toward a new militancy toward capitalism. Now, two years into the pandemic, they have suffered severe personal hardships due to Covid-related illness, hospitalizations and deaths, and sudden loss of employment. These traumas have occurred even as they have experienced an historically unprecedented hiatus of relative economic security, given the Covid-related payments and protections they received from the US state, while many have been praised as "essential workers."

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A Traversal Network of Feminist Servers

Six groups from around Europe are partnering up to ask what might make a server feminist and what kind of communities might gather around such a server.

A Traversal Network of Feminist Servers (ATNOFS) is a collaborative project formed around intersectional feminist, ecological servers. Understanding servers as computers that host space and services for communities around them, this project exists inside, and in between, roaming servers and different networks.

See also this interview with the initiators of ATNOFS as well as the Feminist Server Manifesto.

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How can we democratically own the digital economy?

The Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy has published research reports by its 2021 cohort of research fellows.

From Brazil to France, New York to Buenos Aires, and Bologna in Italy to Gujarat in India, our fellows covered topics critical to the development of platform cooperatives in these territories.

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Encounters, coffees and conflicts

The Feminist Internet Research Network, led by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), carried out a multiyear action-research project on community networks and feminist infrastructures in Brazil. They present the outcomes of the project in a new report as well as in zines.

More than reaching answers, the questions has helped us to expand a set of reflections from the encounter between different ways of living and of producing knowledge and techniques that escape to some extent to normative models in the field of digital technologies , such as white male predominance in this field and the processes of concentration of power on the internet by large corporations that use manipulative and non-transparent models of relations with these technologies. The aim of this article is to share part of the reflections that have emerged from our experience, with the expectation of contributing to research and initiatives for technological appropriation that also devote themselves to strengthening diversity in these two fields.

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