LFI Course Materials/Week 17: Algorithms as ideology

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Week 17: Algorithms as ideology[edit]

  • Real time lecture: September 13th 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern


Algorithms shape our world more than ever. But whose world are they creating?

By understanding algorithms as a form of computationally-imposed ideology, we begin to see how machine learning systems often reinforce pre-existing oppressive structures. White colonialism, gender binary, prisons and mass-incarceration are just a few examples of ideologically-guided systems which become further entrenched with the use of automation and artificial intelligence. In this talk, we will look at several case studies demonstrating how these technologies enforce oppressive ideologies and the structural violence they inflict on marginalized communities. We will discuss how these ideological systems can be meaningfully opposed, as well as how we might counteract them using our own visions of a more just and equitable future.


No readings this week! Please use the time to work on final projects.

Guest lecturer[edit]

Janus Rose is a New York City-based writer and educator who studies technology’s impacts on privacy and human rights. She is a a senior editor at Motherboard and her work has been featured in DAZED Magazine, The New Yorker, and other print and online publications.


General discussion


  • Discussion forum and small group work