CDCS Workshop: Meredith Broussard, New York University

Artificial Intelligence and Our Future World
Photo of Meredith Broussard
14 Oct 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Annenberg School for Communication, Room 500
Open to the Public

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*This event is part of the 2019-2020 Control Societies Speaker Series.*

About the Talk

What are the practical implications of an AI-enabled world? As we think about the possibilities for digital campuses, corporations and communities in the future, it is important to keep in mind the limits of technology in solving social problems. Despite the optimistic promises of digital evangelists, it has become clear that most large-scale software systems exacerbate existing social inequality. 

In this talk, author and professor Meredith Broussard looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology, and explains why we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against “technochauvinism” — the belief that technology is always the solution — Broussard looks at why self-driving cars don’t really work and why social problems persist in every digital Utopia. If we understand the limits of what we *can* do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we *should* do with it to make the world better for everyone.

Lunch begins at 11:45am.

About the Speaker

Meredith Broussard is an associate 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 & Library Services 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, Slate, Vox, and other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via

About Control Societies Speaker Series

Control Societies was started as part of the School of Social Policy & Practice’s initiative on Culture, Society, and Critical Policy Studies in order to feature and engage cutting edge scholarship on the enumerating acts of governmentality in computational culture and the incalculable possibilities of justice. For the 2019/2020 academic year, the School of Social Policy & Practice will continue its speaker series in partnership with the Annenberg School for Communication, which produces scholarship on the social, cultural, economic, and political implications of digital information and communication technologies, networks, and systems. Through the speaker series, the organizers aim to explore the philosophical foundations of algorithms, data, and their intersections with governmentality, surveillance, social policy, and the reconfiguring of power relations.

Future lectures include:

  • December 9: Ruha Benjamin, Princeton University
  • January 27: Kara Keeling, University of Chicago
  • February 17: Stephanie Dinkins, Stony Brook University
  • March 23: Denise Ferreira da Silva, University of British Columbia
  • March 30: Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University

For more information, visit

Additional funding is provided by the Provost's Excellence Through Diversity Fund.

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This event may be photographed and/or video recorded for archival, educational, and related promotional purposes. We also video stream many of these video recordings through the Annenberg web site. By attending or participating in this event, you are giving your consent to be photographed and/or video recorded and you are waiving any and all claims regarding the use of your image by the Annenberg School for Communication. The Annenberg School for Communication, at its discretion, may provide a copy of the photos/footage upon written request.