No coding required, bring your friendsEdit
So You Want to Make Better AI? Practical StrategiesEdit
"Pranking an AI—giving it a task and watching it fail—is a great way to learn about it" (Shane 2019, 4).
To Do ListEdit
Keep in mind the following goals:
- know it’s about power
- stay self-reflexive, polyvocal, multimodal
- add back error, uncertainty, entanglement
- combine tech & dialogue
- entwine data, design, & community
- embrace a meta ethics of multiplicity & relation
- decenter European values & knowledge (and its own origin stories)
- de-digitize sometimes
- focus on infrastructures of care: mutual aid, start low & go slow
- apply to every level in the stack, every step in the process
- let intersectionality guide aesthetics, tactics, and ethics
Black feminist ethics & tacticsEdit
- guest authors 
The work by women of color is at the core of an intersectional critical practice. Safyia U. Noble, Brendesha Tynes, and Joshua Schuschke (2016) argue that founders of Black Lives Matter, three queer Black women, demonstrate community coalition-building skills applicable to digital spaces: “the movement’s reﬂexivity, the ability to counter hegemonic narratives, and self-care are key components of digital intersectionality. By modeling the standard of reﬂexivity, the movement is able to critique and correct its own narrative and practices” (28). This self-reflexivity is key to be able to adapt to changing circumstances as well as to the needs of the people your technologies are hoping to serve.
since this isn’t my subject position or expertise area, here would be a great place to let other voices shine!
Indigenous Knowledge Systems in TechnologyEdit
...tbd... via Katherine Yang
Angie Abdilla, Robert Fitch: Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Pattern Thinking
7 tenants of data feminismEdit
"all work in the world, is undertaken by individuals. [...] Rather than viewing these postionalities as threats or as influences that might have biased our work, we embraced them as offering a set of valuable perspectives that could frame our work." (D'Ignazio & Klein 83)
from Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein’s (2019) book of the same name:
- examine power
- challenge power
- elevate emotion and embodiment, valuing multiple forms of knowledge
- rethink binaries and hierarchies
- embrace multiple perspectives, prioritizing local, indigenous, and experiential knowing
- consider context: “data are not neutral or objective. They are the products of unequal social relations, and this context is essential for conducting accurate, ethical analysis”
- make labor visible so it can be valued
Hosting a feminist serverEdit
Because it offers material access and control, running a “feminist server” can be a form of activism (anarchoserver.org via Dunbar-Hester 2020, 113–114). “For example, on the radical left, the group Riseup devotes server space to mirroring content for social justice organizations on at least three continents” (113). Some of the “principles for design and operation” include:
- avoids efficiency, ease-of-use, scaleability, and immediacy because they can be traps
- knows that networking is actually an awkward, promiscuous, parasitic practice
- does not confuse safety with security, risks exposing her insecurity
- tries not to apologize when she is unavailable
not to structure your hacker organizationEdit
Tips from Hacking Diversity by Christina Dunbar-Hester:
But I want everyone to feel good, so no one should be in charge, right?Edit
Rather than “shelving hierarchy entirely,” many BIPOC and LGBTQ/feminist hackerspaces prefer “an accountable, transparent hierarchy” that is “as horizontal and distributed as possible, instead of having unofficial leaders “who govern through “charisma, reputational capital or technical prowess. […] A culture of valorizing technology itself, and especially granting certain people star status through their technical prowess and willingness to claim credit for technical accomplishments, [is] part of the problem” (89).
Should I work within existing structures or create my own?Edit
“Many advocates pursue both mainstream intervention and separate spaces simultaneously, recognizing that each has utility and that it is not an either/or situation” (70).
What’s important to know in working with others?Edit
Prioritize clear documentation (and other skills valued besides just ‘hard coding’) and “collectivized communicability” as part of your politics (82–83).
Isn’t the barrier to entry to high to even try?Edit
“[It’s] ‘not patronizing to meet people where they’re at. […] Find a device you already use, take out the proprietary crap that controls it, and control it yourself’” (108).
For more ideas for community guidelines, like “no well-actuallys, no feigning surprise, no backseat driving, no subtle -isms,” check out Recurse.
AI as a craftEdit
Could contemporary AI work draw on the work of feminist handmade media makers and the long histories of feminine and indigenous handcraft practices? Three qualities these works often share, which
embodied, often literally using the body or investigating the situated/particular self in concrete ways continually iterative, slow and explorative, rather than strictly goal-oriented community-focused, often in domestic or caretaking spaces, work that is functioning or proving as well as expressing
How to Write Non-Violent Creative CodeEdit
“honor the land, honor the body, honor the small, honor the exchange” p5.js Contributors Conference
More context on the development of this from Olivia McKayla Ross
_maybe Q expand?_
Types of creative-critical-code interventions: what can you imagine? what will you make?Edit
- Inform: provide or reveal information that already exists or is hidden
- Challenge: disrupt, troll, converse, intervene, activate, ask questions
- Reimagine: redesign, reframe, recontextualize, sketch out
- Reflect: aesthetic, artistic, affective, contemplative, essayistic
- Resource: convene, make space, provide access, provide goods or services, teach or share, ask (someone else might need the same thing)
“Database design, in that way, is “an exercise in worldbuilding,” a normative process in which programmers are in a position to project their world views—a process that all too often reproduces the technology of race.” –Ruja Benjamin, Race After Technology (54)
“a project may be feminist in content, in that it challenges power by choice of subject matter; in form, in that it challenges power by shifting the aesthetic and/or sensory registers of data communication; and/or in process, in that it challenges power by building participatory, inclusive processes of knowledge production. What unites this broad scope of data-based work is a commitment to action and a desire to remake the world.” –Catherine D’Ignazio & Lauren Klein, Data Feminism (18)
Because we could imagine it differentlyEdit
- Distributed computing, federated networks then & now []
- The Contingent Internet via Jeanette Hofmann's work
Crip Codes & Indigenous AI with Luke FischbeckEdit
ethical commitment to accessibility and also, margin to center supporting all and also, shaping AI broadly
Queer reverb, queer refusalEdit
Rather than assuming the goal for all systems is more visibility and more access, different approaches to AI could incorporate queer, feminist, anti-racist theories that understand some folks have other goals, even answering Gaboury’s question: “how can we enact disappearance in such a way that does not erase difference?” (147). Citing black data,Template:Refn alongside “queer opacity [and] queer darkness as not only an aesthetic but an ethos” and calls for “forms of life that account for refusal as a situated practice—one that is explicitly raced and embodied, even as it would prefer not to articulate the situatedness of any single identity form” (148). This is not just resistance “but a refusal of the very terms of engagement” (149).
Gaboury offers a concrete example of how code can undermine the binaries it constructs: “The use of NULL [in place of a valid answer in a database] marks an indeterminate mode of being that is at once within and outside, part of and illegible to a discrete system of relations, a ‘middle’ that explicitly marks an indeterminate, incalculable, unknown state of being” (153). NULL is not zero or blank, nor is it quite an answer (like, say, male/female) that conforms to the field. It marks the inability to be known—“an excessive illegibility […] within an otherwise normative system of relations” (153) and “a tactic of negotiated visibility that removes itself from the productive logic of the system that would seek to identify it” (154).
If not indeterminate, then in looping, reverberating, proliferating refrain: Alexander Cho (2015) says, “if queer temporality is the condition, then refrain is the mechanics” (52). Cho points to Tumblr’s “nonlinear, atemporal rhizomal exchange of affect and sensation, a ‘queer reverb’ of repeat and repeat; and there may be a possibility for this sort of transmission to buoy an anti-normative or resistant politics” (47).
CREATIVE CODE COLLECTIVEEdit
MA+P’s Creative Code Collective values include (and we continue to develop these in community):
- cooperation not competition
- scrappy artistic strategies not perfect code
- creativity as collective wayfinding
- project-based and process-oriented
- growth not perfection