This afternoon after hours of discussion the Graduate students, faculty, & administrators on @virginia_tech's Commission on Graduate & Professional Studies & Policies (CGPSP) unanimously passed @VTGPSS Resolution 2021-2022B, to guarantee all grad student assistants a living wage
@virginia_tech @VTGPSS Profound thanks to every member of the @VTGradCommunity who came to these meetings, & to all of the CGPSP (…), especially @sgsdean, for their hard work in this process, & their vocal commitment to both the cause of ensuring a living wage for grad students…
@virginia_tech @VTGPSS @VTGradCommunity @sgsdean …& to the process of shared governance.

As this resolution moves forward, I'm glad to know we can count on the tireless efforts these administrators & faculty to ensure VT University Council, President @VTSandsman, & the Board of Visitors understand this issue's dire importance
@virginia_tech @VTGPSS @VTGradCommunity @sgsdean @VTSandsman …It is heartening to know that you are working to help these upper administrators commit themselves— as have you all in the CGPSP— to providing a living wage to all graduate students assistants, by the 2023—2024 academic year.
@virginia_tech @VTGPSS @VTGradCommunity @sgsdean @VTSandsman I genuinely can't wait for the public word from CGPSP's faculty & administrators— perhaps even in @vtnews— touting the major win we all achieved together & their plans to advocate for this crucial resolution. I know they, like the Grad community, are proud of what we accomplished
@virginia_tech @VTGPSS @VTGradCommunity @sgsdean @VTSandsman @vtnews And I know that we in the graduate community absolutely will not forget that this resolution passed with the unanimous consent of the @virginia_tech Commission on Graduate and Professional Studies and Policies.
@virginia_tech @VTGPSS @VTGradCommunity @sgsdean @VTSandsman @vtnews So very true. I know the @VTGPSS and the @VTGradCommunity definitely learned a great deal from this experience.

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More from @Wolven

22 Oct
Happening now at @STS_vt: @ashleyshoo presenting "Accidental Postphenomenology with Cyborgs."

Doing Disability Studies, Philosophy of Technology, and STS practices, all at once, and it's great
@sts_vt @ashleyshoo Postphenomenology holds we can't do phenomenology like we used to. This is because every one of our ways of understanding the world— through instrumentation, scientific and other knowledge practices, &c— and all of our relations to ourselves and others are mediated by tech…
@sts_vt @ashleyshoo Shew notes that the problem with constructions like "cyborg-technology relations," a lá Verbeek, is that they don't consider the full range of extant, living, cyborgs: disabled people who are in direct, living relation with technology, every single day.
Read 14 tweets
10 Oct
A reminder that it's not just Facebook and Twitter and YouTube.

If you build a system around searching, ranking, & prioritization algorithms & reinforcement learning techniques, with weight on sensationalistic "engagement" (TikTok), then you've likely built an outrage machine…
And if you take that system & tell it to specifically exclude & down-rank content from, say, LGBTQIA posters or disabled posters, *TIKTOK*, then you have built that system to regard positive LGBTQIA or Disability content as "Bad," & to serve the next nearest "Good" thing it has…
…and because you've essentially taught this system, "transphobia and ableism = good" (not to mention racism, misogyny, and more), what the hell do you expect it to serve? What rabbit holes do you THINK people are gonna fall down?
Read 7 tweets
9 Oct
This was the worst-case scenario after all the AI & facial recognition moratoria, last year:

That these corps wouldn't actually stop, but would just quietly shuffle the business into the background until it all blew over.

There hasn't been enough fast, sustained public pressure
…& there hasn't been enough regulation, & that's because, until VERY recently, there haven't been enough people in positions of real oversight authority to actually enforce real, meaningful change in these companies' operational procedures. Sound familiar?
And if you're getting tired of me beating that PARTICULAR drum? Too bad.

Unless & until we deal with the fact that literally the ENTIRE tech industry needs foundational repair, starting w/ what kinds of things they think of as "relevant expertise," this shit will KEEP HAPPENING
Read 4 tweets
8 Oct
Been working on a piece about AI, algorithms, human values, and regulation, in the context of Facebook for about a month now, since Haugen started leaking.

So here's "I’m Not Afraid of AI Overlords— I’m Afraid of Whoever's Training Them To Think That Way"
(The dopamine hits from Twitter threads are very satisfying, but then same goes for people reading and sharing your longform essays)
One thing I want to emphasize: Everything about how tech workers are trained needs to change. Social science & specifically social implications of tech courses need to be in STEM programs from the ground UP, rather than as "business ethics" or "medical ethics"-style afterthoughts
Read 9 tweets
6 Oct
Every factual thing Frances Haugen said this week confirmed what social scientists & tech + humanities scholars have tried to tell you for decades.

The responses by Zuckerberg and LeCun do, too.

These people & corps fundamentally refuse to acknowledge what they don't understand
Time to try something different.
…well before the Cambridge Analytica, & their intentional
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
I know we joke about "The Algorithm," but it's not a unitary thing. Even if we were to credit FB or Twitter with the rise of BLM, on a fundamental, literal level, they're not "the same" algorithms.

The ones that searched, ranked, & populated feeds, back then, have been changed…
…and in those multiple changes, since then, facebook has often made it EASIER to spread white nationalist terror or anti-trans hate or misogyny or other violent bigotries, & HARDER to resist those things.

So whether contemporaneous instances, or over time, they're not the same.
Anyway, I have ~3k words on AI, Algorithms, Human Values, & the oversight & regulation of Big Tech, written before, during, and after Fracens Haugen's face reveal, so if that sounds like something you'd like to pay me for, hmu before the landscape is supersaturated with bad takes
Read 4 tweets

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