The Good Robot

Karen Hao on AI Colonialism and Changing the Stories We Tell About Tech

July 26, 2022 University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies
The Good Robot
Karen Hao on AI Colonialism and Changing the Stories We Tell About Tech
Show Notes

In this episode we chat to Karen Hao, a prominent tech journalist who focuses on the intersections of AI, data, politics and society. Right now she’s based in Hong Kong as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal on China, tech and society; before this, she conducted a number of high profile investigations for the MIT tech review. In our interview we chat about her series on AI colonialism and how tech companies reproduce older colonial patterns of violence and extraction; why both insiders and outside specialists in AI ethics struggle to make AI more ethical when they’re competing with Big Tech’s bottom line; why companies engaging user attitudes isn’t enough, since we can’t really ever ‘opt out’ of certain products and systems; and her hopes for changing up the stories we tell about the Chinese tech industry.