Dr. Safiya Noble, author of the widely acclaimed book “Algorithms of Oppression” will deliver the inaugural Critical Data Studies Distinguished Lecture at Purdue University. The talk is part of Purdue’s Sesquicentennial Ideas Festival, and will take place in Fowler Hall on the West Lafayette Campus Wednesday, October 3, at 6PM.
Noble’s lecture, “Intellectual Freedom and Racial Inequality as Addressed in ‘Algorithms of Oppression,” is aligned with Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign and is part of the Ideas Festival Theme, “Giant Leaps in Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, and Automation: Balancing Humanity and Technology.” The Ideas Festival is the centerpiece of the campaign and connects world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems and opportunities facing our world.
According to Purdue Libraries Assistant Professor Kendall Roark, Critical Data Studies, or CDS, is an emerging interdisciplinary field that addresses ethical, legal, socio-cultural, epistemological, and political aspects of data science, big data, algorithms, platforms, and digital infrastructure.
“Dr. Noble’s work is unique, but also draws upon themes within critical theory, Black Feminist Thought, and information science that are of interest to CDS scholars. Dr. Noble asks questions about how inequality, bias, and power are embedded into search-engine platforms. Her work has the potential to inform not only CDS scholars but also public debates around a wide range of emerging technologies and the transformation of everyday life,” said Roark.
The Center for Science of Information (CSoI), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center based at Purdue is partnering with Purdue Libraries to bring scholars like Noble for the CDS lecture series. CSoI’s Director of Education, Brent Ladd, states that broadening knowledge and awareness of the full range of societal impacts of algorithms is critical. “The philosophy and ethics of information is something we include in our education and diversity efforts. Anyone engaged in the creation and implementation of algorithms and the software tools that employ them should key into this lecture series and raise their awareness by reading the critical works being produced by scholars like Safiya Noble and Virginia Eubanks,” said Ladd. Bob Brown, Managing Director of CSoI, said, “We are pleased to work with Purdue Libraries to offer the CDS lecture series. It is important to CSoI’s overall mission that we strive to integrate ethical and societal considerations into the way we carry out information science research, and in how the results are implemented.”
Dr. Noble will be available for media interviews between 3-4pm outside Fowler Hall on October 3. Please contact Dr. Kendall Roark (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about the Critical Data Studies Seminar Series.