TU Wien Informatics

20 Years

Kate Crawford: “Rocks, Flesh, and Rockets. A Political Ecology of AI”

  • 2022-10-18
  • Public Lecture
  • Event
  • Social Responsibility

Kate Crawford maps the global impacts of large-scale computation on the environment, personal data, and human labor.

Kate Crawford: “Rocks, Flesh, and Rockets. A Political Ecology of AI”

  • This is an online-only event.
    See description for details.

In this talk, Professor Crawford will share the findings from her book Atlas of AI, which maps the global impacts of large-scale computation on the environment, personal data, and human labor. She will share insights from her field work for the book, including visiting lithium mines, Amazon warehouses, and Blue Origin’s rocket base. This work gives insight on the deeper politics and planetary costs of artificial intelligence and its infrastructures, which are generally hidden from public view.

About Kate Crawford

Kate Crawford is a leading scholar of the social, political, and ecological implications of artificial intelligence. She is a Research Professor at USC Annenberg, a Senior Principal Researcher at MSR in New York, and the inaugural Abeona Visiting Chair for AI and Justice at the École Normale Supérieure. She leads the Knowing Machines Project, an international research collaboration about the epistemic foundations of machine learning. Over her twenty year career, Kate also produced groundbreaking creative collaborations and visual investigations. Her project Anatomy of an AI System with Vladan Joler won the Beazley Design of the Year Award, and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the V&A in London. Her collaboration with the artist Trevor Paglen, Excavating AI, won the Ayrton Prize from the British Society for the History of Science. Crawford’s latest book, Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence was described as “a fascinating history of data” by the New Yorker, a “timely and urgent contribution” by Science, and was named one of the best books of the year by both The Financial Times and New Scientist. In June, Atlas of AI won the Best Information Science book award from the Association for Information Science and Technology.

About Edward A. Lee

Edward A. Lee has been working on software systems for 40 years and has recently turned to philosophical and societal implications of technology. After education at Yale, MIT, and Bell Labs, he landed at Berkeley, where he is now Professor of the Graduate School in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. His research focuses on cyber-physical systems, which integrate computing with the physical world. He is author of several textbooks and two general-audience books, The Coevolution: The Entwined Futures and Humans and Machines (2020) and Plato and the Nerd: The Creative Partnership of Humans and Technology (2017)

Online Event

We are looking forward to seeing you:

  • Participate via Zoom (meeting: 9638 9928 143, password: 0dzqxqiy).
  • The talk will also be live streamed and recorded on our YouTube Channel.
  • For further announcements and information, please visit the DIGHUM Website, which also provides slides and recordings of all our past events.

The DIGHUM Lecture Series

Digital Humanism deals with the complex relationship between man and machine. It acknowledges the potential of Informatics and IT. At the same time, it points to related apparent threats such as privacy violations, ethical concerns with AI, automation, and loss of jobs, and the ongoing monopolization on the Web. The Corona crisis has shown these two faces of the accelerated digitalization—we are in a crucial moment in time.

For this reason, we started the DIGHUM Lecture Series, a new initiative with regular online events to discuss the different aspects of Digital Humanism. We will have a speaker on a specific topic (30 minutes) followed by a discussion of 30 minutes every second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 PM CEST. This crisis seriously affects our mobility, but it also offers the possibility to participate in events from all over the world—let’s take this chance to meet virtually.

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