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What is the criticism known as “Structural Exclusion”? Illustrate this criticism with the example provided in Facial Recognition is Accurate, if You’re a White Guy.
To begin, the word criticism is properly known by most humans as expressing and analysing judgment of other people’s work. “Structural Exclusion” is a criticism of the SCOT (social construction of technology) approach. This being said, my understanding interpretes this form of criticism as a social shaping in the developing technologies. Firstly, “social exclusion” can be processed as a form of discrimination towards whatever social group in question; in other words singularizing an ethnic community, sexual orientation, social class etc.
to various opportunities or fundamental rights. Now, Structural Exclusion is more so surrounding interaction of different groups, named prior, within society. In other words, the obstacles they may face to achieve similar goals as prioritized groups of people, based off norms and/or rules and also within institutions. In this sort of analysis, when considering the Structural Exclusion in the case of developing technologies, different gadgets or systems are meant for certain specific social groups for impact on its commercial factor.
For example, the article Facial Recognition is Accurate, if You’re a White Guy, in the New York Times explains rather perfectly this bias system. They explain how facial recognition programs only work best, bein correct 99% of the time if you’re a white male, known to be the superior species. It’s a battle against the injustice that even with globalisation and modernisation of the world in question on equality, technology even bumps social fairness.
To better explain, certain technologies, like facial recognition programs shuts out all other than one specific social group whether its age, ethnicity, sexe, for its function. Though, there is work to be done when facial recognition is in subject since this is something that should work towards being equal unlike vaporizers for example, excluding children from proper use and application, created only for a certain crowd, adult smokers trying to quite. In the article mentioned, we can understand that the darker the color of your skin, the less this application is accurate, in other words singling out African American people to the proper use of this gadget. Though in some cases Structural Exclusion is helpful for commercializing and blooming to its full potential, it’s a bias way of thinking in the construction of technology in its social aspects.
Define exhaustively the concepts of actor-network, blackbox, and technoscript (analysis). What conceptual parallel can be drawn among these three concepts?
The three concepts of actor-network, blackbox and technoscript analysis all relate back to the functioning of technology within the society and how humans may interact and work with developing technologies such as systems to have them work properly not being questioned. First, the term actor-network is a central concept, as said in its own title, of ANT (Actor-Network Theory) linking human and non human actors in the social construction of technology. As mentioned in the class notes of March 11th-13th, actor-network explores the assembly of social technology and then its social structures. In this case, the actor can be anything who can participate in any kind of process whereas a network would be the group of people and/or systems. In other words, actor-network is really the relation between machines or technology and human societies; starting from the artifacts construction to its legitimate use. The black box on the other hand is the complexe work of the inner workings of programs and systems. The best example for this would be a computer where the inside of its construction is so complexe, consisting of various seperate parts needing many specialists to understand it or fix it when broken. Basically, the concept of black box is another form of network which is so complex, multiple specialists are assigned to its well functioning. In other words, it is a sort of algorithm only experts may solve. Next, technoscript analyses differences between real users and actors and projected images of those.
How can we apply ANT to analyze the foreseen impacts of Peak Oil as sketched in A Crude Awakening? How do these impacts provide an illustration of the breakdown of an actor-world?
As previously mentioned, the Actor-Network theory is the arrangement of socio technical component and its workings in a social structure. The methodological theory of ANT focuses on the shaping of the relations between actors and networks; its re-making, how they are kept intact or kept up and destroyed or pulled apart. First, the term Peak Oil means when the global oil production finally reaches its full capacity unable to keep rising rates, in consequence it declines forever. In the documentary A Crude Awakening the audience is taken across the history and development of the oil industries on a global scale measuring the positive and negative impacts of its consumptions. It allowed its viewers to analyse the true dependence our world has developed on oil making it a possible conclusion to deplete the planets oil reserve. The foreseen impacts of the film are controverse though should raise concern. Thus, the closer we are to the “Peak Oil” point it has and will result in the growth of “ghost towns” where economies crash and resources are exhausted, cleaning out the population as they look for more trusted environments to settle. The rise in oil demand is also behind the creation of natural disasters in some form and the boom of wars and military gear. The world is constantly producing and extracting as demands rise and number of supplies lower, making it easy to really visualize the time we will run out. The Actor-Network theory (ANT) engages a role in the relations between supply and demand through the terms as humans agencies having alternatives of production versus non-humans agents that see an end to supply. In The Sociology of an Actor-Network : The Case of the Electric Vehicle by Michel Callon in the subsection “Actor-worlds” he states that “the actor-world makes it possible to describe the contents of technical objects and theoretical knowledge” (p.23). Without these that shape technical objects we can not describe them.
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