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Nassim Parvin (Georgia Tech)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 4:00 P.M.
Computer Science and Engineering Building (CSE) 1202 on the UCSD campus

Abstract: 

Cars, Fashion, and the False Promise of Algorithmic Judgment

What does ethical imagination have to do with design of algorithms? In this talk, I outline the underlying premises of algorithmic judgments from the perspective of feminist and pragmatic ethics, revealing their inadequacies and oppressive potency. More specifically, I look at two very different uses of algorithms in self-driving cars and digital fashion assistants. Engaging with each of these cases provides an opportunity to illuminate distinctive ethical issues at stake. Together, they challenge the blind faith in algorithms, foregrounding the pressing need for alternate ethical beginnings that help draw out socially just design possibilities.

Biography: 

Nassim Parvin is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Design and Social Interaction Studio. Parvin’s research explores the ethical and political dimensions of design and technology, especially as related to values of democratic participation and social justice. Her papers have appeared in premier publication venues in design studies, science and technology studies, and human-computer interaction. She is an award-winning educator and serves on the editorial board of the journal of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Parvin received her PhD in Design from Carnegie Mellon University. She holds an MS in Information Design and Technology from Georgia Tech and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran.

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