Race and Gender in Silicon Valley
Join us as we go behind the scenes on a year of big headlines about trouble in Silicon Valley. We'll start with basic questions such as: who decides who gets to see themselves as "a computer person"? How do early childhood and educational experiences shape our perceptions of our relationship to technology? Then we'll see how those questions are fundamental to a wide variety of recent events from #metoo and the fight against sexual harassment in tech companies, to how the under-representation of women and people of color in tech companies impacts the kinds of products that Silicon Valley brings to market. We'll see how data and AI raise the stakes on these questions of identity and technology: Exactly how much do companies such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook know about you, and how could that data be used to target you in potentially harmful ways? How can we ensure that AI technology will help reduce bias in human decision-making in areas from marketing to criminal justice, rather than amplify it?
This course will examine intersections of race, gender, sex, ethics, education, and technology, enabling class members to engage in the active debates happening right now that will set a course for the future, not only in Silicon Valley, but for all of humanity in the coming age of AI. In this course, we’ll learn what it means to love tech’s potential enough to be passionate about identifying its dangers and repairing its faults.