Soc(AI)ety Seminars Series: “AI and the Very Old World Order”


Location: Jordan Hall Auditorium, Rm 105


Over the last few years, a growing number of scholars have argued that the impact of AI is repeating the patterns of colonial history. If European colonialism was characterized by the violent capture of land, extraction of resources, and exploitation of people for the economic enrichment of the conquering country, the AI industry is now using more insidious means to capture our behaviors, extract our data, and exploit our labor for enriching the wealthy and powerful at the great expense of the poor.

This talk will look in-depth at just one dimension of this AI colonialism: the labor exploitation. The AI industry has long thrived off of a model of building billion-dollar products off of a vast economically precarious workforce. Now it is refining its playbook, seeking out workers in countries of crisis to drive down their labor costs even more.

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Guest Speaker Bio:


Karen Hao is an award-winning journalist covering the impacts of artificial intelligence on society and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly a foreign correspondent covering China tech for the Wall Street Journal and a senior editor for AI at MIT Technology Review. Her work is regularly taught in universities and cited by governments. She has received numerous accolades for her coverage, including an ASME Next Award for Journalists Under 30. She received her B.S. from MIT.

Sponsored by the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society.