Skip to Gallatin Navigation Skip to Gallatin Main Content
26 Feb
The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
Feb 26, 2018 | 6:30 PM-8:00 PM

Black History Month


Coding While Black: Artificial Intelligence, Computing, and Data in a Racialized World

Race is inscribed in every detail of our lives, determining where and how we live, speak, write, move, sense, and encounter one another. So it stands to reason that the technologies that mediate, as Ta-Nehisi Coates might say, “between the world and me,” are also generated by the constraints and expectations of race. In this conversation, Charlton McIlwain (Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt and author of the forthcoming book with Oxford, Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, From the Afronet to Black Lives Matter) and Stephanie Dinkins (Artist and Associate Professor of Art at Stony Brook University whose practice sits at the nexus of artificial intelligence (AI) and socially engaged practice) discuss what artificial intelligence, big data, hashtags, Internet memes, and digital assistants tell us about being Black in the 21st century--and what they might portend for our future.

Presented as a part of Gallatin’s Black History Month programming.

Charlton McIlwain is Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU, where he is also the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity at NYU’s Steinhardt School. His recent work focuses on the intersections of race, digital media, and racial justice activism. He recently wrote Racial Formation, Inequality & the Political Economy of Web Traffic, in the journal , Information, Communication & Society, and co-authored, with Deen Freelon and Meredith Clark, the recent report Beyond the Hashtags: Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter, and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice, published by the Center for Media & Social Impact, and supported by the Spencer Foundation. His latest book Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, From the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Follow him on Twitter @cmcilwain.

Stephanie Dinkins is an artist and professor at Stony Brook University interested in creating platforms for ongoing dialog about artificial intelligence as it intersects race, gender, aging and our future histories. She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to develop deep-rooted AI literacy and co-create more culturally inclusive equitable artificial intelligence. Her art is exhibited internationally at a broad spectrum of community, private and institutional venues by design. She is the 2016/17 Artist-in-Residence at NEW INC, a cultural incubator supporting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship across art, design, and technology.​ She holds holds an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is also an alumna of the International Center of Photography, the Independent Studies Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Artist in the Marketplace Program of the Bronx Museum of Art.