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Courses & Workshops

Building a Feminist Data Set Workshop by Caroline Sinders

6 November – 13 November 2019

17:00 – 20:00

£15

Two workshops exploring how data collection can be used as an artistic practice and a collaborative, community practice. Asking what does ethical and communal technology creation and consumption look like?

Workshop 1: 6 November, 5–8pm, book here

Workshop 2: 13 November, 5–8pm, book here

City Workshop, second floor, The Tetley, £15

Workshop 1 - Can data collection itself function as an artwork? Can it act as a form of protest?

6 November, 5–8pm

The first workshop focuses on collecting feminist data beginning with an introduction to machine learning, data, and design thinking, and leading into a collaborative and facilitated process with the objective of building a feminist data set from the ground up.

Through the workshop we will explore the potential of data to disrupt larger systems by generating new forms of agency.

The creation of this feminist data set will act as a means to combat bias and introduce the possibility of data collection as a feminist practice, aiming to produce a slice of data to intervene in larger civic and private networks.

Workshop 2 - How are people used and mistreated in AI and how can we intervene in this underpaid, technical, labor system? 

13 November, 5–8pm

In this workshop we will move towards developing a feminist mechanical turk system, focussing on interrogating the human labor that really powers AI systems. 

People do all sorts of tasks in AI systems, from sorting data and responses (such as for Cortana; human laborers often wade through Cortana conversations consumers have with the AI to annotate) to mechanical turk, where real people do many, many small tasks over many hours to train the AI models. 

AI is made by people, and human hands, and those humans are often underpaid. Thus, we wonder, can we make a feminist system of this, how could we, and what could it look like? 

The Feminist Data Set project will result in a large scale data set, a re-imagining of a mechanical turk system to create a feminist mechanical turk, then creating an algorithm. All of this will then be a part of the Feminist AI system. But to get there, you need data. The majority of AI and chatbot projects think of the AI component and the algorithms used as the entire project, but Feminist Data Set focuses equally on creating a data set that's never existed before, and then using that data set to create Feminist AI.

The workshops are open to anyone interested in exploring the project but please note that the Feminist Data Set is intersectional and trans and non-gender binary inclusive.

Workshops have been held previously at Resonate Festival in Serbia, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Soho20 gallery, and Glitch Conference as well as others.

Caroline is running these workshops as part of Invisible Flock's residency programme where she will be working to create a series of artefacts responding to the Feminist Data Set that will push ideas of what illustration can mean, in relationship to cultural critique, technology and data.

Caroline Sinders is a machine learning design researcher and artist. She is the founder of Convocation Design + Research, a design and research agency focusing on the intersections of machine learning, user research, designing for public good, and solving communication difficult problems. As a designer and researcher, she's worked with groups like Amnesty International, Intel, IBM Watson, the Wikimedia Foundation as well as others. She is also a research fellow with Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and Policy. Caroline has held fellowships with BuzzFeed, Eyebeam, SOHO20 Gallery, the Yerba Buena Centers of the Arts, the Studio for Creative Inquiry, the International Center of Photography as well as others. Her work has been featured at the Victoria and Albert Museum, MoMA PS1, the Houston Center for Contemporary Art, Slate, Quartz, the Channels Biennale, as well as others. Caroline holds a master's degree from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

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