The cyber space is a non-neutral space of constant consternation. Multiple dualisms ensue; the individual and the space, the individual and the platform and the individual with their own self-image. It becomes really important, then, to critically engage with the space, decolonize it and reclaim it. The hyper presence of the algorithm in our daily lives means our awareness and engagement need to be active as much as it is theoretical. This reading group ensures just that.

During the course of this reading group, we will look at the (in)justice which this contestation brings. Since the algorithm and its ensuing injustice are both ubiquitous, we will look at the various areas of human experience which they touch. The 10 areas detailed below grant us 10 sessions of discussion, and 10 opportunities to build a creative manifesto of the ideas discussed. The results of the discussion and the creative process will then be on display.

This reading group is initiated and curated by Abdel-Rahman Hassan, as part of the Future based platform.

Reading Session #6 Liberation: Envisioning and designing a collective algorithmic salvation

James Baldwin eloquently states that “there is never time in the future where we will work out our salvation, the challenge is in the moment, the time is now.” The same holds true for algorithms and their impact on our perception of free-will. How do our algorithmic-infused realities deal with the concept of liberation?How can we find salvation and emancipation amidst algorithmic models that try to fine-tune our realities to deterministic boxes of prediction?  In this chapter of the Algorithmic (in)equality reading group, we follow Baldwin’s advice, and think about tactics in which algorithms can be tools of resistance, imagination, and of expanding our horizons of possibility.  We will delve into the early debates around the theory of computing on deterministic models and the so called halting problem, passing by the ubiquity of machine learning and the theorized death of free-will. Finally, we will discuss newer frameworks of decolonial computing and data activism practices. Most importantly, we will address the urgency of our liberation by actively envisioning, speculating and designing our own collective algorithmic salvation.

This Future Based Reading Session will take place online the 22nd of September from 19:00 – 20:30 UTC Amsterdam.

If you can’t join us, but are interested in the documents and topics we are discussing, please check our Google drive documents.