90. Decolonizing Data Infrastructures: Pluralizing Imaginaries and Histories of Datafication
Anita Chan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Yousif Hassan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Jane Yeahin Pyo, University of Massachusettes-Amherst;
Discourses of decolonization have become salient in the field of AI/Big Data and global circles of responsible innovation. These discourses often take a universalist view of ethics, or imply a vision of AI mono-futurism based on Euro-American centric understandings of the social, political, and economic implications of data-driven developments across different geographies of the Global South and North. This panel attempts to problematize such trends by recovering the pluralistic histories of decolonization across different geographies of knowledge production. We seek nuanced discussions of surveillance, prediction, and segregation economies and resistances to them that are underpinned by alternative ways of knowing and being in the world. We invite methodological, theoretical, and empirical contributions that engage with alternative future imaginations to remake or refuse dominant data-driven imperatives and look for past and present practice from places that have been historically excluded from knowledge-making. This includes work that:
Open up spaces for solidarity and reimagination of shared human futurities that confront and seek to dismantle systems of oppression
Problematize notions of intelligence and ethics based on Western understandings of human difference.
Explore colonial ideologies reproduced through information ecologies and their impacts on marginalized communities
Illuminate Southern epistemologies that contribute to more inclusive and accountable practices or policy around data infrastructures.
Address feminist, racial and social justice approaches to technology to interrogate relations of power across situated data ecologies.
Examine communal approaches to technology and their implications for political economies
Keywords: Social Movements and STS, Decolonial and Postcolonial STS, Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning, decolonization infrastructures, data/AI colonialism, data solidarities, AI mono-futurisms, socio-technical pluri-histories, political economy of technology, datafication, Indigenous STS, Feminist STS, Race/Black Studies and STS, Social Movements and STS, Transnational STS, coloniality, decolonial computing and media technologies, critical race and media studies, infrastructure studies