From Artificial Intelligence to Collective Wisdom: Who Gets to Design the Future?

  • JANUARY 26, 2024 | 12:00 PM MT

From automated decision systems in healthcare, policing, education and more, technologies have the potential to deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to harmful practices of a previous era. In this talk, Ruha Benjamin takes us into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements, and provides conceptual tools to decode tech predictions with historical and sociological insight. When it comes to AI, Ruha shifts our focus from the dystopian and utopian narratives we are sold, to a sober reckoning with the way these tools are already a part of our lives. She argues that higher education is ground zero for reimagining the default settings of technology and seeding a future in which everyone can thrive.


Workshop Leader

An enthralling storyteller, brilliant scholar, and fierce advocate for all things just, Dr. Ruha Benjamin is a professor of African American Studies at Princeton University where she studies the social dimensions of science, medicine, and technology with a focus on the relationship between innovation and inequity, knowledge and power, race and citizenship, and health and justice. As the founding director of the IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab, she brings together students, educators, activists, and artists to rethink and retool data for justice.


Dr. Benjamin is the author of Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, editor of Captivating Technology, and she recently released her fourth book, winner of the 2023 Stowe Prize, Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want, born out of the twin plagues of COVID-19 and police violence. At the center of all Dr. Benjamin’s work is the invitation to “imagine and craft the worlds we cannot live without, just as we dismantle the ones we cannot live within.”

Dr. Ruha Benjamin

Dr. Ruha Benjamin

Professor of African American studies at Princeton University, Founding Director of the Ida B. Wells JUST Data Lab, and Author