Share

cover art for Open, with David Gray Widder

The Data Fix with Dr. Mél Hogan

Open, with David Gray Widder

Ep. 26

While efforts to make “AI” more “open” have gained momentum lately, it seems like both concepts are worth scrutinizing and historicizing so that we can better understand how these marketing terms become a focus (and distraction), as material conditions are downplayed. With David Gray Widder, we discuss where “ethics” are located and how “AI” workers of all kinds imagine responsibility to be someone else’s problem, or somewhere else down the chain. Recorded Sept 12, 2023. Released Oct 23, 2023.


The Myth of ‘Open Source’ AI

https://www.wired.com/story/the-myth-of-open-source-ai/


Open (For Business): Big Tech, Concentrated Power, and the Political Economy of Open AI

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4543807


Limits and Possibilities for “Ethical AI” in Open Source: A Study of Deepfakes

https://davidwidder.me/deepfakes.pdf


Dislocated accountabilities in the “AI supply chain”: Modularity and developers’ notions of responsibility

https://davidwidder.me/supply-chain.pdf


Computer scientists designing the future can’t agree on what privacy means

https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/04/03/1070665/cmu-university-privacy-battle-smart-building-sensors-mites/

More episodes

View all episodes

  • 31. Efficient, with Anne Pasek

    01:06:59
    Most of us researching data centers have come to rely on various figures and stats telling us how environmentally impactful the internet has become: how big is the footprint? how much energy is used? Anne Pasek and I discuss in this episode just how these things get tallied, and by whom, and to what ends. We also discuss what gets omitted in these calculations, and how a "relational footprinting" approach might help us situate our knowledge about this topic. We also briefly talk about open access publishing and the power of zines in particular. Recorded Dec 12, 2023. Released Feb 12, 2024.Digital Energeticshttps://meson.press/books/digital-energetics/ Getting Into Fights with Data Centers (zine)https://emmlab.info/Resources_page/Data%20Center%20Fights_digital.pdfPasek, A., Vaughan, H., & Starosielski, N. (2023). The world wide web of carbon: Toward a relational footprinting of information and communications technology’s climate impacts. Big Data & Society, 10(1).
  • 30. Conflicted, with Tobias Williams

    53:51
    Teaching in times of generative AI is weird, and sometimes wonderful. Tobias Williams and I discuss what it means to make art and teach art at this juncture and the conflicted feelings that emerge from resisting with the tools of creation. Recorded Oct 10, 2023. Released Dec 25, 2023.Profilehttp://tobiasjwilliams.comInstagramhttps://www.instagram.com/getrichnever/
  • 29. Impacts, with Irene Niet

    51:59
    Irene Niet and I have a conversation about how researchers might consider the environmental impacts of AI in relation to their social consequences, and in relation to their impacts on democracy. Recorded Oct 16, 2023. Released Dec 11, 2023.Research profilehttps://research.tue.nl/en/persons/irene-a-nietDigital (Un)sustainability - Routledgehttps://crowdusg.net/2022/06/06/digital-unsustainabilities-call-for-chapters/
  • 28. Chipified, with MC Forelle

    45:43
    Ever wonder about the microchips in your car? MC Forelle and I talk about the “chipification” process of cars, since the 70s and 80s, and how these processes and logics see to increased corporate control and surveillance, while making opting out and DIY tinkering more difficult. We briefly touch on subscription model for automotive features — like BMW did for its heated seats not long ago — remember that? Recorded Oct 5, 2023. Released Nov 27, 2023.The material consequences of “chipification”: The case of software-embedded carshttps://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/doi/full/10.1177/20539517221095429
  • 27. Empathy, with Steven Gonzalez Monserrate

    01:00:29
    In this absolutely delightful hour, Steven Gonzalez, an anthropologist of data centers, walks us through various sites of ethnographic research — from places of abandonment post-climate disaster, the desert, to the suburbs. While much as been written and discussed about data centers in the last decade, nobody does it quite as thoughtfully as Steven — showing empathy and feeling in and through his writing. Recorded Oct 2, 2023. Released Nov 13, 2023.Sordidezhttps://egconde.com/books/sordidez/ Q&A: Steven Gonzalez on Indigenous futurist science fictionhttps://news.mit.edu/2023/qa-steven-gonzalez-indigenous-futurist-science-fiction-sordidez-0821 The Staggering Ecological Impacts of Computation and the Cloudhttps://thereader.mitpress.mit.edu/the-staggering-ecological-impacts-of-computation-and-the-cloud/ Steven Gonzalez Monserratehttps://www.stevengonzalezm.com/The people of the cloudhttps://aeon.co/essays/downtime-is-not-an-option-meet-the-stewards-of-the-cloudLa Nube sin Apagónhttps://www.anthropology-news.org/articles/la-nube-sin-apagon/
  • 25. Chemical, with Josh Lepawsky

    56:51
    If you think you know anything about e-waste from what’s normally reported in the news, please have a listen to this episode with the brilliant Josh Lepawsky — it will really open up everything you thought you understood! We discuss global waste industries, shipping waste, the ideals of recycling, plastics and mining waste, and the need for collective action. And chemicals. Recorded Aug 3, 2023. Released Oct 9, 2023.What E-Waste Journalism Gets Wronghttps://thereader.mitpress.mit.edu/what-e-waste-journalism-gets-wrong/ Sources and Streams of Electronic Wastehttps://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(20)30307-9 Materials in Flux - A Symposium curated by Formafantasma Session 2: Contextualizinghttps://youtu.be/ChKchFQGcyc?t=1506
  • 24. Intimacy, with Mirabelle Jones

    01:00:15
    A truly delightful conversation with creative technologist and artist, Mirabelle Jones. Their work uses generative AI – early iterations of it – to make compelling observations about intimacy. Jone’s work is iterative, where reactions to projects invite new forms of self-reflection, and makes us wonder if we even have a ‘true’ self, if continuity is real, and what quantum alternatives might be out there. Recorded Aug 2, 2023. Released Sept 25, 2023.Translating Traumahttps://www.instagram.com/p/CvF3Nkqrc_H/ Mirabelle Joneshttps://www.mirabellejones.com/ It’s time We Talked https://www.mirabellejones.com/digital-alchemy-its-time-we-talked/ Artificial Intimacyhttps://www.mirabellejones.com/artificial-intimacy/ Embodying the Algorithmhttps://aiperformance.space/mirabelle-jones-ill-be-very-nervous/ Zoom Reads Youhttps://www.mirabellejones.com/zoom-reads-you/
  • 23. Alien, with Gregory Betts

    47:17
    This is a fun conversation with scholar-poet Gregory Betts about communicating with aliens! How are humans on earth communicating with aliens? What technology does it require? Why? What void does it fill? And do aliens want to be in contact with us? What relationships are made possible by thinking poetically about aliens? On the episode we ponder the cultural contexts for thinking about alien life in a hostile [to human life] universe. Recorded Jul 21, 2023. Released Sept 11, 2023.A Sign in Spacehttps://asignin.space/listening-to-space/ Extraterrestrial Signal Test (NYT)https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/24/science/extraterrestrial-signal-test.html Aliens in the Void: Writing Beyond the Limits of Language in bpNichol’s The Martyrology (and (Luigi Serafini’s ((Code)x Seriphian(us))))https://www.academia.edu/99536790/ Here’s the Discord Channel:https://discord.com/channels/1066055437457297469/1110258553689739276/1111325509993898096WRETI workshop:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9LLwepou8Q&list=LLDkmzBShjBSqUTvnlWaaKlQ&ab_channel=SETIInstitute