Neo-Luddite Reading Group
Time and Place:
"Remember to imagine and craft the worlds you cannot live without, just as you dismantle the ones you cannot live within." -R. Benjamin
Substack 3rd Tuesday each month 6:30-8:30 @ Iffy Books
Discord: Email email@example.com for an invite!
The issues and harms surrounding emergin technologies are especially concerning given the lack of regulation in the tech industry generally, and the tendency of productivity-increasing technology to further concentrate power in the hands of the few. This reading group will explore these risks and engage with how they work in the hopes of better organizing to protect the rights of workers and individuals. The goal is to have a better understanding of the costs (data, carbon, human labor) and risks (misinformation, unpredictability, bias) of making these machines, as well as limitations in what they can learn about the world primarily through text.
We're currently reading Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code by Ruha Benjamin and will decide what to read next at our first session of the year.
So far, we've read "Resisting AI: An Anti-fascist Approach to Artificial Intelligence" by Dan McQuillian and The Human Use of Human Beings by Norbert Wiener. The following archived pages include more Information on those sessions: Resist AI and The Human Use of Human Beings. If you'd like to learn more about me, you can visit victorgom.es for a bio.
If you're joining for the first time, I'd suggest you read this before anything else for some historical context: What the Luddites Really Fought Against by Richard Conniff.
The only expectation is that you read the chapter(s) of the book that's listed for that meeting. You're still welcome to participate if you haven't done the readings as long as you are mindful.
The author kindly provides a free reading guide on her website, so I'd reccomend checking it out for the relevant chapters prior to each meeting to get you thinking. For each chapter, I've also noted some optional readings for context, so I'd suggest checking those out rather than reading ahead in the book. And remember, if you ever find yourself struggling with any of the readings or concepts, reach out! Either directly to me over email or to the entire group over discord.
- Meeting 1 (Jan. 16th):📖 Race After Technology
- Preface & Introduction
- 🎥 Are We Automating Racism? by Vox
- 🎙️ Mystery AI Hype Theater 3000: Let's Do the Time Warp! by Emily Bender & Alex Hanna
- 1. Engineered Inequity
- 🗞️ In Retrospect: The unseen Black faces of AI algorithms by Abeba Birhane
- 📜 The Whiteness of AI by Stephen Cave & Kanta Dihal
- 2. Default Discrimination
- 📜 The Surveillance AI Pipeline by Pratyusha Ria Kalluri
- 🎙️ Timnit Gebru Looks at Corporate AI and Sees a Lot of Bad Science by Reimagining the Internet
- Meeting 2 (February. 20th):📖 Race After Technology
- 3. Coded Exposure
- 📜 Large language models propagate race-based medicine by Jesutofunmi A. Omiye, Jenna C. Lester, Simon Spichak, Veronica Rotemberg & Roxana Daneshjou
- 🎥 Signing Black in America by The TALKING BLACK in AMERICA Project
- 4. Technological Benevolence
- 📜 Power to the People? Opportunities and Challenges for Participatory AI by Birhane, A., Isaac, W., Prabhakaran, V., DC-az, M., Elish, M., Gabriel, I., Mohamed, S.
- 🗞️ How Inclusive New AI Model Latimer Can Fight Bias by Kalina Bryant
- 5. Retooling Solidarity, Reimagining Justice
- 📜 Reclaiming AI as a theoretical tool for cognitive science by Iris van Rooij, Olivia Guest, Federico G Adolfi, Ronald de Haan, Antonina Kolokolova, and Patricia Rich
- 🎙️ Confronting Our Reality: Racial Representation and Systemic Transformation with Dr. Timnit Gebru by The Radical AI Podcast
- Outreach Resources & Guides
- 📜 Digital Defense Playbook: Community Power Tools for Reclaiming Data by Our Data Bodies
- 📜 A People's Guide to AI by Mimi Onuoha and Mother Cyborg (Diana Nucera)
- 📜 Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer by Data & Society
- Potential Future Reads
- 📖 Blood in the Machine: The Origins of Rebellion Against Big Tech by Brian Merchant
- 📖 Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks
- 📖 Questioning Technology: Tool, Toy or Tyrant by John Zerzan & Alice Carnes
- 📖 Technofix: Why Technology Won't Save Us or the Environment by Michael Huesemann & Joyce Huesemann
- 📖 Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor by Kim Kelly
- 📖 The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation by Cory Doctorw
- Links to more links
- Critical Lenses on AI by Iris van Rooij
- A Luddite Library by LibrarianShipwreck
- Resources by Ruha Benjamin
- More on Luddites
- I'm a Luddite. You should be one too by Jathan Sadowski
- Is It O.K. To Be A Luddite? by Thomas Pynchon
- Byron Was One of the Few Prominent Defenders of the Luddites by Kat Eschner
- Ned Ludd & Queen Mab: machine-breaking, romanticism, and the several commons of 1811-12 by Peter Linebaugh
- Song for The Luddites by Lord Byron
- A Luddite Lullaby by Don Bogen
- All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace by Richard Brautigan
- I Am the People, the Mob by Carl Sandburg
- They Say This Isn't a Poem by Kenneth Rexroth
- Under Which Lyre by W.H. Auden
- When I Heard The Learn'd Astronomer by Walt Whitman