Alexa please ask Siri to tell Cortana to play “big girls don't cry”
All our domestic help devices have been named after women.. Maybe because they are developed by men with American descent who named it after their loved ones or this is the truth I want to believe. Is the future female or is it just patriarchal? Its ability to only recognize male American voices leaves the rest of us frustrated. Exclusion of nearly 6500 languages.
The making of a Total Woman/Man by gradual manipulation of algorithms for advertisements from datasets of ratio, proportion, beauty, gender, age, race, skin colour, height, weight, voice, salary, profession, lifestyle, diet, assets and liabilities he or she owns, things we are inclined towards the list of these specificities goes on.
These algorithms are where our true responsibilities lie today. They act as verbs in operations of distributing resources based on lifestyle patterns extracted from our digital and physical footprints. Algorithms act as tools to help curate the world today. In the same manner as a curator fabricates our narrative of a museum and hence the definition of what contemporary is. They hold the privilege to create a truthful record of the narrative or one based on biases and discrimination. We look back into precedents of these corrupted or censored histories to code orthodox digital platforms marching towards the future - which in return makes our futures corrupted as well. To abstain from these possibilities our algorithms should be judicious, unorthodox and far sighted.
It all began with this one free tool for socializing. It was bold, powerful, empowering and everything good! We gave all our personal information in return for personalised entertainment. Our individual identity is the most essential asset in the cyber world. The process of charting data for capitalist society is based on unfair algorithms, how then do we think will we ever build a world which represents the truth. Truth in modern society is twisted and the algorithm on which it operates our data even more so.
All our Micro Architectural as well as Macro Architectural devices are being hacked on an everyday basis - like temperatures of our refrigerators to our street lights or water supplies. Degrees of privacy practiced in the digital world are very much like our physical world i.e the dimensions of a particular door, its materiality, transparency, distance, openness and the way it is operated whether it slides, pivots or rotates etc.
Our focus should be to straighten these algorithms performed on data in order to build a truthful digital atmosphere . Our parameters you ask?
Gender neutral technologies, Sensitive to sensorial disabilities (Use of all 5 senses - Current technologies are very text and image driven), Audience - who exactly is the spectator and who is the performer. How does the data get performed in different contexts.
The grand narrative of today points towards an ideal algorithmic pedagogy of culture zero - a technological brave world which is categorically inclusive,unbiased and gender neutral.
Swati Jain, MS.AAD, Columbia GSAPP
Abhishek Patole, MS Cyber Security, NYU