BCNM Around the Web October 2020

29 Sep, 2020

BCNM Around the Web October 2020

Check out the amazing work of our faculty, students, and alumni around the web this October!

Jacob Gaboury

Our Assistant Professor of Film & Media at UC Berkeley, Jacob Gaboury, held a colloquium on Sept 24th for 'The Charisma Machine: The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop per Child.'

Morgan Ames’s new book The Charisma Machine chronicles the life and legacy of the One Laptop per Child project and explains why—despite its failures—the same utopian visions that inspired OLPC still motivate other projects trying to use technology to “disrupt” education and development. In this conversation between the author and Jacob Gaboury, Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Media at UC Berkeley, we will explore why the project remained charismatic to many, even with (and even because of) its fundamentally flawed vision of who the computer was made for and what role technology should play in learning.

Review more about this event here.

Ken Goldberg

Robots have always had links with art, since Karl Capek coined the term "robot" in his theater play 100 years ago. In this panel we'll discuss perspectives on robots in dance, sculpture, and fiction and how they challenge our assumptions about the distinctions between humans and machines.

Ken Goldberg is the moderator for this IFRR Colloquium on Art and Robots.

For more information, please click here.

Jeremy Rue

During the podcast of 'Additional Health Orders Issued For Businesses', it mainly talks about San Diego County restaurants, gyms, salons and other businesses are allowed to reopen for indoor operations — with restrictions. But some business owners said they cannot survive on the severely limited capacity required. Also, one-fifth of San Diego students returning to virtual school this month are English Language Learners -- and that makes distanced-learning all the more difficult. Plus, a state law that went into effect a year ago requires police departments to release videos within 45 days every time an officer fires his or her weapon or uses force that causes great bodily injury. But the law is limited -- it doesn't say "all the video," instead it says "a video or audio recording."

The Critical Incident Videos are also produced in a way to tell a story from the police department's point of view, says Jeremy Rue, the associate dean at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism." It sets up the narrative arc of the piece, which is a popular technique in fiction. You set up a scene with context, you're contextualizing the video before you see it, so viewers are already equipped with that knowledge and it informs how they interpret what they see next. That's what you see in movies or commercials, where there's an opening narration that sets up a scene." Rue also noted that the San Diego Police Department is making redactions in some videos, which is an editorial choice.

From the podcast:

For example, when officers shot Toby Diller on Jan. 24 in the Oak Park neighborhood after a struggle where Diller reached for an officer's gun, the audio is redacted immediately after the officer shoots. Text in the video says that portion is redacted "because of graphic audio that was a result of the gunshot wound to Mr. Diller. We consider that audio disturbing and its release, in this form, would be disrespectful and gratuitous."
"When I saw that, I was skeptical about the rationale for doing that," Rue said. "If I had more trust in police, then I might see that and agree, and appreciate they didn't put out audio of someone dying in agony. But in this age, seeing all instances of police malfeasance, the redaction makes me skeptical."

Listen to the podcast for more information here.

Alex Saum-Pascual

Alex Saum-Pascual is a participant of the online course 'Seminar Science and Technology' offered by INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY, SOCIETY AND CULTURE —— EXPLORING THE FUTURE FROM THE DIGITAL HUMANITIES. ALGORITHMIC CULTURES.

This course introduces the expansion of computational technologies, their social ubiquity, their mutation into a tool of power for global corporations, and the emergence of new spaces for analysis and cultural production which require a critical reflection that concerns the Humanities inasmuch as it is the transformation of the sense of what is.

The course aims to propose a critical reflection on the role that algorithms play in shaping the contemporary world, addressing the various dimensions in which they make their capacity for social and cultural transformation explicit. The course aims to inscribe the algorithmic configuration of present and future societies within the framework of complex thinking that takes into account the opportunities and uncertainties they project.

From the website:

In recent years the notion of "future" has become ubiquitous. Publications that address the future as an expansion of contemporary technological development have experienced exponential growth. In addition, research institutes, centers and platforms have emerged that have made the future the center of their activities and reflections. See, for example, the influential Future of Life Institute associated with MIT. In this context, it is necessary to elaborate a discourse on the future from humanist parameters of thought that, at the same time, presents itself as an alternative to the techno-utopias of the technological oligarchies of the Global North.

For more information of this course, visit here.

Andrea Horbinski

This webinar brings together history PhDs working in a wide variety of roles at tech companies to talk about the work they do, their transition from graduate school into their careers, and job opportunities for historians in the tech sector. Panelists will discuss how they draw on historical skills and perspectives in their work, and how their doctoral education did - or did not - prepare them for their jobs. Join us as we explore what it means to be a historian in the tech world.

Kalani Craig (Indiana Univ.)

Paul Dingman (Wiley)
Andrea Horbinski (Netflix)
Adrienne Kates (Facebook)
Andrew Keating (Splunk)

The AHA announces a series of professional development webinars and workshops emphasizing career exploration and skill development for graduate students and early-career historians.

Learn more here.

Trevor Paglen

On view now at Fondazione Prada, Training Humans (a collaboration by artists Trevor Paglen and Kate Crawford) is the first-ever show dedicated to the training images used to teach artificial intelligence how to view people.

From the website:

They’re the lessons for learning how to “see” like us. Training Humans comprises photographs from the 1960s to the present, and aims to uncover how machines are trained to identify and understand emotion, gender and race—and how biases find their way into AI programs. “Teaching machines to ‘see’ like people means replicating not only the internal logic of human visual protocol, but also inheriting the external power systems that inform our judgements—and to understand the status of today’s artificial intelligence systems, we must look closely at what has been used to train them,” Document Journal writer Camille Sojit explains.

Read more here.

John Scott

John Scott acts as the presenter for 'Reimagining Accessibility Online: Designing for Equity First'. On the topic, it discusses the possibilities of online study. As more and more teaching and learning moves online, providing multiple ways for students to interact and gain and demonstrate knowledge is deeply important, especially for students with disabilities. What should faculty and instructors know? How can institutions better enable and empower all students and faculty equally? Join host Dr. Christopher Sessums, D2L’s Director of Academic Affairs; Blackboard Ally Product Manager Dr. John Scott; AbleDocs President Adam Spencer and D2L’s Accessibility Lead Dr. Sam Chandrashekar as they unpack the value of universal design principles, how they apply to online learning, and how they can support equity and accessibility for both faculty and students.

Read more here.