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Data & Society Databite #41: Ifeoma Ajunwa on Genetic Coercion

The mythol­o­gy of genet­ic coer­cion is thoughts that genet­ic data, espe­cial­ly large-scale genet­ic data­bas­es, have the abil­i­ty to pin­point cer­tain risk of dis­ease. They pro­vide agency to act to pre­vent such dis­ease, and it can be used to cre­ate accu­rate per­son­al­ized treat­ment for dis­ease, and it should also be entrust­ed with the author­i­ty to dic­tate the mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the genome for future gen­er­a­tions.

Can an Algorithm Be Agonistic? Ten Scenes about Living in Calculated Publics

This is why it mat­ters whether algo­rithms can be ago­nist, giv­en their roles in gov­er­nance. When the log­ic of algo­rithms is under­stood as auto­crat­ic, we’re going to feel pow­er­less and pan­icked because we can’t pos­si­bly inter­vene. If we assume that they’re delib­er­ate­ly demo­c­ra­t­ic, we’ll assume an Internet of equal agents, ratio­nal debate, and emerg­ing con­sen­sus posi­tions, which prob­a­bly doesn’t sound like the Internet that many of us actu­al­ly rec­og­nize.

No, Thank You: Agency, Imagination, and Possibilities for Rejecting World-Changing Tech

We’re try­ing to say it’s on you, it’s your respon­si­bil­i­ty, fig­ure this out, down­load this, under­stand end-to-end encryp­tion, when it’s a shared prob­lem and it’s a com­mu­nal prob­lem.

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