This study path asks the learner to evaluate ontology creation in relation to automated metadata creation for audio visual digital materials, and asks learners to reflect on ways to disrupt the Anglo and Western ontologies that are often embedded in these systems.
Software helps companies coordinate the supply chains that sustain global capitalism. How does the code work—and what does it conceal? Posner’s article is both brilliant and approachable, investigating the ramifications of the modular design of supply-chain software: the modular design of both the code and the supply chain make it impossible to fully know what
Noble writes evocatively about the effect of search algorithm biases on users — in this case, young black girls who will find that Google searches for “black girls” do not lead to books about black girls or communities in which young black girls might connect, but instead pornography as the top results. Noble investigates how
A Google search for a person’s name, such as “Trevon Jones”, may yield a personalized ad for public records about Trevon that may be neutral, such as “Looking for Trevon Jones?”, or may be suggestive of an arrest record, such as “Trevon Jones, Arrested?”. This writing investigates the delivery of these kinds of ads by
This heavily theoretical piece provides a vital counterweight to the pressure for “scale” in technological projects, and can give cultural heritage project managers a useful vocabulary for questioning demands to follow tightly regulated software development processes when it is not appropriate for community-driven, humanistic work. Tsing shows that while “scalability” is defined as projects that
I generally prefer to write about big picture subjects for my Learning pieces at Source. But today, let’s start from something small that illuminates the way even simple choices affect what we can represent and the stories we can tell. Let’s talk about the most basic datatype we often build our databases from: Boolean fields.
This article explores prototype theory as an alternative to classical theories of classification. This article points to other, more fine-grained methods for classification than traditional systems with rigid boundaries and hierarchies. While this article does not delve into the technical systems needed to implement prototype theory, it is a very useful foundation for discussions on
We set out to assess one of the commercial tools made by Northpointe, Inc. to discover the underlying accuracy of their recidivism algorithm and to test whether the algorithm was biased against certain groups.
This article addresses the importance of systems designers focusing on their designs but also recognizing the importance of critiquing and bettering the systems they create. This requires an understanding of not only the institution in its current state, but its collection history.
By delving into the materials processes of Optical Character Recognition (OCR), as well as the history of OCR tools, this article shows how the statistical models used for automatic transcription can embed cultural biases into the output. This article is particularly relevant to multilingual projects, as it unpacks the effects of OCR software that generally