Date(s) - 05/05/2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
As a part of the Data Then and Now Seminar Series, Dr. Ramon Amaro will be giving a talk: “Machine Learning, Sociogeny and the Substance of Race”  Wednesday May 5th, 2021 at 1:00-2:00pm PDT.


Zoom Registration:

Abstract: In this talk, Dr Ramon Amaro will discuss his forthcoming book Machine Learning, Sociogeny and the Substance of Race (Sternberg/MIT, 2021) which introduces the concept of the ‘black technical object’ as a potential site of investigation into the history of mathematics and the racial logics of contemporary machine learning algorithms. Ultimately, the aim of this talk is to widen discussions on race and algorithmic bias by arguing for  revisions to the study of machine bias and the engineering of algorithmic systems.


Bio: Dr Ramon Amaro is Lecturer (Assistant Prof., equiv) in Art and Visual Cultures of the Global South at UCL, History of Art Department. Amaro’s writing, artistic practice, and research investigate racial hierarchy and visual perception in contemporary computational systems, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and ‘big data’ networks. Amaro’s ultimate aim is to intervene in the even unwitting racial histories of data and mathematics in Western Europe. His forthcoming monograph, Machine Learning, Sociogeny and the Substance of Race (Sternberg / MIT, 2021) argues for a non-linear approach to the design of machine learning algorithms, as well as our understanding of race and social categorisation, as informed by the history of statistical analysis. Amaro completed his PhD in Philosophy at Goldsmiths, while holding a Masters degree in Sociological Research from the University of Essex and a BSe in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a former Research Fellow in Digital Culture at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam and former visiting tutor in Media Theory at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK). He is also co-founder of Queer Computing Consortium (QCC), which investigates the role of language in computational systems, and its impact on locally embedded community practices.


This talk is jointly sponsored by the eScience Institute, the Simpson Center for Humanities, the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering, and the Information School.

The Data Then and Now seminar series explores the social and organizational history of data and data practices in order to better understand the current data-intensive moment through its antecedents and continuities. It features invited speakers from across the country and around the world. For more information, please visit the Data Then and Now web page.