Radical infrastructure: Building beyond the failures of past imaginaries for networked communication
This 2023 article with Britt Paris and Sarah Myers-West in New Media & Society, demonstrates how Internet infrastructure alternatives presented as radical, new, or non-hierarchical present shortcomings and opportunities, so that it might be more possible to imagine better, more truly radical, people-centered alternatives.
We do so through a theory of radical infrastructure; by considering how a material analysis of infrastructure and its politics open up paths toward different futures. The research draws from our respective case studies of internet infrastructure governance. In order to move beyond the limiting factors in those current design efforts, we offer up three heuristics as a starting point: busting the myth of technosolutionism, re-politicizing Internet infrastructure, and reconfiguring data flows to dismantle corporate power by centering cooperative practices over connectivity.
Your Thoughts for a Penny? Capital, Complicity, and AI ethics.
This 2022 article with Os Keyes in Economies of Virtue: The Circulation of ‘Ethics’ in AI and Digital Culture edited by Thao Phan, Jake Goldenfein, Monique Mann and Declan Kuch, considers the impact of corporate capture of AI research. In particular, Os and I look what it means to do research into the ethics of AI technologies. In this chapter, we examine both aspects by drawing from autoethnographic methods and presenting our experiences in the form of stories in which the authors, each entangled in this reality of industry funding in different ways, reflect on our experiences.
We examine how our work is shaped by industry funding, how we negotiate our own lines in the sand regarding when or how we are paid ‘pennies for our thoughts’, and how these negotiations and lines evolve over time. Engaging in both individual reflection and dialogic exchange, we ask ourselves (and each other): What lessons can be learned from the ethnographic realities of working on AI in academic settings in which research is reliant on industry funding?
Answering this question, one that confronts many researchers, will help us provide new insights into how corporate power plays out in the context of academic research on AI ethics
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