This technical blog is cross-posted on the ACLU of Massachusetts’ Data for Justice site
So you use your Wordpress site to publicly share documents with the world. Maybe they’re photographs in your portfolio, records of minutes from your recurring meetings, homework assignments and materials for your students … or maybe they’re responsive documents from 400 public records requests. You use your site to present these documents in some sort of helpful structure.
And maybe you’ve just acquired, say, 1,400 new documents detailing the use of facial recognition across Massachusetts government agencies, which will require dozens of new structured pages with…
It’s not me, it’s you.
I had intentions of leaving you for over three years, even before I finished my astronomy undergraduate degree. The original reason I cited — to myself and others — for wanting to leave is that I felt I would never be fulfilled by the content of what a career in astronomy would look like. Spending a lifetime studying stars and galaxies while watching my neighbors suffer from structural inequalities — inequalities that I have studied rigorously and am capable of fighting against — felt irresponsible and selfish to me.
I didn’t leave because…
In recent months, headlines about artificial intelligence (AI) have ranged from concerning to downright dystopian. In Lockport, NY, the public school system rolled out a massive facial recognition system to surveil over 4,000 students — despite recent demographic studies which show that the technology frequently mis-identifies children. Ongoing investigations into Clearview AI, the facial recognition startup built upon photos that were illicitly scraped from the web, have revealed widespread unsupervised use by not only law enforcement but banks, schools, department stores, and even rich investors and friends of the company.
Staff Technologist at the ACLU of Massachusetts | Exploring how to use data & tech in pursuit of justice