Strange Loop

September 12-14 2019

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Stifel Theatre

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St. Louis, MO

How Computers Misunderstand the World

AI offers so many exciting possibilities for campuses, corporations, and communities. However, as we look to the future, we must keep in mind that technology has fundamental limits and AI is not a magic bullet that solves all social problems. In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of AI and argues why we should never assume that computers get everything right. Making a case against "techno-chauvisnism" - the belief that technology is always the superior solution - Broussard looks at why self-driving cars don't actually work and why a digital "utopia" will still harbor the social problems we experience today. She explores how understanding the limits of what we can do with technology allows us to make better choices about what we should do with technology to make the world better for everyone.

Meredith Broussard

Meredith Broussard

New York University

Meredith Broussard is an assistant professor at the Arthur L Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of "Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World." Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. She is an affiliate faculty member at the Moore Sloan Data Science Environment at the NYU Center for Data Science, a 2019 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow, and her work has been supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences as well as the Tow Center at Columbia Journalism School. A former features editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, she has also worked as a software developer at AT&T Bell Labs and the MIT Media Lab. Her features and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's, Slate, and other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.