Intersectional Automations explores a range of situations where robotics, biotechnological enhancement, artificial intelligence (AI), and algorithmic culture collide with intersectional social justice issues such as race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and citizenship. As robots, machine learning applications, and human augmentics are artifacts of human culture, they sometimes carry stereotypes, biases, exclusions, and other forms of privilege into their computational logics, platforms, and/or embodiments. The essays in this multidisciplinary collection consider how questions of equity and social justice impact our understanding of these developments, analyzing not only the artifacts themselves, but also the discourses and practices surrounding them, including societal understandings, design choices, law and policy approaches, and their uses and abuses.
Nathan Rambukkana is assistant professor in communication studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Part 1: Algorithms, Machine Learning, and Inequity
Chapter 1 Blind Trust, Algorithmic Discrimination, and Self-Regulation in Facebook Advertisements by Chloé L. Nurik
Chapter 2 Faking Age? Ageing and the Algorithmic Assemblage by Kim Sawchuk, Scott DeJong, and Maude Gauthier
Chapter 3 It Was All Fun and Games: Gamewashing Automated Control by Sebastián Gómez
Chapter 4 From Automating to Informating: Toward a Productive Model of Human/Machine Collaboration in Higher Education by Jordan Canzonetta
Part 2: Robots and Social Justice
Chapter 5 The Misogyny of Transhumanism by Nikila Lakshmanan
Chapter 6 Are We All Too Human? Toward an Understanding of Posthumanism and Rights by Julia A. Empey
Chapter 7 Being Sophia: What Makes the World’s First Robot Citizen? by Madelaine Ley
Chapter 8 Robosexuality and Its Discontents by Nathan Rambukkana
Chapter 9 Robots as Caretakers: Understanding Long-Term Relationships Between Humans and Carebots by Jamie Foster Campbell and Kristina M. Green
Part 3: Posthuman Fictions, Futures, and Bodies
Chapter 10 Im/Material Bodies: Queering Embodiment Through Performance Art and Technology” by Joep Bouma
Chapter 11 Estranged World: Tenets of Xenofeminism and Tropes of Automated Alienation in Contemporary Alien Films by Christopher M. Cox
Chapter 12 Simulation and Synesthesia in Rez: Virtual Reality and the Queer Erotechnics of Becoming-Machinic by tobias c. van Veen
About the Contributors
As robots, artificial intelligence, and algorithms become an ever-increasing part of daily life people are struggling to make sense of what the “fourth industrial revolution” will ultimately mean for their relationships and their place in this world. Intersectional Automations: Robotics, AI, Algorithms, and Equity interrogates some of the most pressing questions raised by the proliferation of smart technologies. Unlike much of what has been written about algorithmic and robotic culture, Intersectional Automations does not offer sweeping proclamations of utopian or dystopian futures informed by a single perspective. Instead, Nathan Rambukkana expertly threads together diverse academic voices into a smart edited collection that provides a more complex picture of the implications of emerging technologies and the choices individuals, organizations, and governments make surrounding them. Intersectional Automations is an integral read for scholars seeking a holistic perspective of the intricacies of communication and relationships between humans and machines.
This volume stands out first as its defining emphases on social justice expand well beyond central concerns with race, gender and class. The dialogical approach to ethics here is distinctive and vitally important, contra dominant “rulebook” approaches. The understandings of human-machine relations and our inextricable intertwinement with our technologies add critical nuance often missing elsewhere. Individual chapters explore a rich diversity of perspectives, technologies and domains, while conceptually cohering and speaking to one another along the way. I find the critical engagements within and between chapters concerning widely diverse posthumanisms and transhumanisms especially fruitful. The upshot is a most significant contribution to current and future debates across these domains.
Intersectional Automations: Robotics, AI, Algorithms, and Equity is a fine example of critical interactionist thought. This text will be of interest to those in advanced undergraduate courses or even by graduate students seeking to study new computer technologies. Scholars working in this realm will also be appreciative of a text that covers so many areas of study in one compendium.Moreover, its interdisciplinary focus shows us how much critical interpretive sociology has to offer to other fields and disciplines.