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Wendy Hui Kyong Chun

Discriminating Data

In this President's Faculty Lecture, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (SFU's Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media) will discuss themes from her forthcoming book Discriminating Data about how big data and predictive machine learning currently encode discrimination and create agitated clusters of comforting rage (MIT Press).

Chun will explore how polarization is a goal—not an error—within current practices of predictive data analysis and machine learning for these methods encode segregation, eugenics, and identity politics through their default assumptions and conditions. Correlation, which grounds big data's predictive potential, stems from twentieth-century eugenic attempts to “breed” a better future. Recommender systems foster angry clusters of sameness through homophily. Users are “trained” to become authentically predictable via a politics and technology of recognition. The predictive programs thus seek to disrupt the future by making disruption impossible.

About the lecturer

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is SFU's Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media and leads the Digital Democracies Institute. She is the author of several works including Discriminating Data (forthcoming from MIT Press, 2021) and three other books published by MIT Press: Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media (2016), Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (2011), and Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (2005). She was Professor and Chair of the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, and has held numerous visiting chairs and fellowships at institutions such as Harvard University, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.), the Guggenheim, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Academy in Berlin.

About the President's Faculty Lectures

The President’s Faculty Lectures shine a light on the research excellence at Simon Fraser University. Hosted by SFU president Joy Johnson, these free public lectures celebrate cutting-edge research and faculty that engage with communities and mobilize knowledge to make real-world impacts.

Each short lecture by an SFU researcher will be followed by a conversation with Joy Johnson and an audience Q&A session livestreamed from the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

This year, lecturers will approach the themes of equity and justice from a variety of disciplines.

Accessibility, technology and privacy

Accessibility

Closed captioning in English will be available at this event.

The event will be recorded, and a link to the captioned video recording will be emailed to all registrants after the event.

If you have any questions about accessibility for this event, please contact psqevent@sfu.ca.

Potential for in-person attendance

We may open up a limited number of in-person tickets for this lecture and future events in the series. We’ll send everyone who’s registered for the livestream the first chance to claim these tickets, so register now if you’re interested!

Registration and password

A link and password to access this online event will be emailed to all registrants via Eventbrite shortly before the event.

Technology requirements

To engage in this online event, you will need a computer (laptop or desktop), tablet or smartphone, with speakers or headphones. A microphone and/or a webcam are recommended if you would like to fully participate in the interactive portions of this event.

We recommend that you use a computer for the best experience of this event. Some interactivity and accessibility features are not available when using a smartphone or tablet.

Protecting your privacy

This event will be recorded, but only the speakers will be visible in the published recording. The recording will be shared with all registrants and published on SFU Public Square’s website, YouTube and social media channels.

To ensure that we are using online event technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the event link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password-protect the event
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking

To protect your own privacy:

  • We remind you that whatever you say during the event is public, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others:

  • Please do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the event, unless permission is requested and given.

If you have any questions about this event’s accessibility, technology requirements or privacy, please connect with us at psqevent@sfu.ca.

Community guidelines

Our community guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of all guest speakers and event participants, and to foster honest, socially accountable dialogue at our events. Thank you for respecting these guidelines!

  • Above all, there will be zero tolerance for those who promote violence or discrimination against others on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, or disability. Anyone who incites harm towards other participants (whether through chat, video, audio or otherwise) will be removed at the discretion of our technical team and moderator.
  • Don’t assume pronouns/gender/knowledge based on someone’s name or appearance. Please refer to people using the usernames and/or pronouns they provide.
  • Take space, make space: share your perspective, and make space for other voices to be heard too. Recognize that we are all here to learn.
  • Practice self-care in whatever way you need to. If you need to get up or take a break, please do so.

When

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

6:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Online event

This online event will be livestreamed from the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

A link and password to access this online event will be emailed to all registrants via Eventbrite shortly before the event.

Accessibility

Closed captioning in English will be available at this event.

The event will be recorded, and a link to the captioned video recording will be emailed to all registrants after the event.

If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact psqevent@sfu.ca.