Reception and Public Lecture | Understanding Emerging Technologies, Racial Equity and the Future of Work | April 5

Event date/time: 

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm
John W. Olver Design Building | UMass Amherst

 


The Institute for Social Science Research, in collaboration with the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Information and Computing Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and the Chancellor's Office Presents

Understanding Emerging Technologies, Racial Equity and the Future of Work

We invite the public to attend a welcome reception and the keynote address on this important topic. 

Thursday | April 5
John W. Olver Design Building | 551 North Pleasant Street
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Reception at 3:30 pm | Room 170
Keynote Address and Discussion at 4:00 pm | Atrium

RSVP NOW

This conversation is part of a larger project sponsored by NSF grant #1744356. This lecture is held in conjunction with the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning's Zube Lecture Series, and also introduces the College of Social and Behavioral Science's 2018-2019 Social Science Matters lecture series on Technology and Society.


Keynote Address: Humans, Machines, and Work: The Future is Now

Moshe Y. Vardi
George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering
Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology
Rice University

Automation, driven by technological progress, has been increasing inexorably for the past several decades. Two schools of economic thinking have for many years been engaged in a debate about the potential effects of automation on jobs: will new technology spawn mass unemployment, as the robots take jobs away from humans? Or will the jobs robots take over create demand for new human jobs? In this public lecture, Professor Moshe Vardi will present data that demonstrate that the concerns about automation are valid. In fact, technology has been hurting working Americans for the past 40 years. The discussion about humans, machines and work tends to be a discussion about some undetermined point in the far future. But it is time to face reality. The future is now.

Discussant: A Critical Reflection on Racial Inequalities in the US Workforce and the Future of Work

Enobong (Anna) Branch
Associate Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
 

RSVP NOW


Speaker Bios:

Moshe Y. Vardi is the George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University. He is the recipient of three IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, the ACM SIGACT Goedel Prize, the ACM Kanellakis Award, the ACM SIGMOD Codd Award, the Blaise Pascal Medal, the IEEE Computer Society Goode Award, the EATCS Distinguished Achievements Award, and the Southeastern Universities Research Association's Distinguished Scientist Award. He is the author and co-author of over 500 papers, as well as two books: Reasoning about Knowledge and Finite Model Theory and Its Applications. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the European Academy of Science, and Academia Europaea. He holds honorary doctorates from the Saarland University in Germany, Orleans University in France, UFRGS in Brazil, and the University of Liege in Belgium. He is currently a Senior Editor of of the Communications of the ACM, after having served for a decade as Editor-in-Chief.
 

Enobong (Anna) Branch is the Associate Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer and an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She oversees the implementation of the University's Diversity Strategic Plan, provides strategic leadership for campus diversity efforts to institutionalize a climate of equity and inclusion, and is responsible for nurturing a positive campus climate for students, staff and faculty. She is the author of “Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work,” published in 2011 by Rutgers University Press. The editor of “Pathways, Potholes, and the Persistence of Women in Science: Reconsidering the Pipeline,” published in 2016 by Lexington Press. The series editor of "Inequality at Work: Perspectives of Race, Gender, Class, and Labor" published by Rutgers University Press as well as the the author of several articles published in the International Journal of Gender, Science, and TechnologyThe Sociological QuarterlySociological Perspectives; Social Science History; Journal of Black Studies; and Race, Gender, & Class. for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She oversees the implementation of the University's Diversity Strategic Plan, provides strategic leadership for campus diversity efforts to institutionalize a climate of equity and inclusion, and is responsible for nurturing a positive campus climate for students, staff and faculty. She is the author of “Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work,” published in 2011 by Rutgers University Press. She is also the editor of “Pathways, Potholes, and the Persistence of Women in Science: Reconsidering the Pipeline,” published in 2016 by Lexington Press. Branch has published eight peer-reviewed articles and five book chapters.


This conversation is part of the ISSR project on Understanding Emerging Technologies, Racial Equity and the Future of Work, a series of research and policy dialogues supported by NSF Award #1744356. The disappearance of stable work and the precarity of employment is a growing problem in the US, but its effects are not evenly distributed. The race gap in pay, and lack of racial diversity in the science and engineering workforce who is responsible for designing technology, are problems that converge with changes in technology and work. These problems are compounded by spatial segregation, favoring skill-rich areas and leaving vulnerable populations further isolated. Can emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) be imagined in a way that increases equity and diversity? Can we organize work in a way that contributes to the quality of technologies, and the productivity and satisfaction of workers in an increasingly diverse population? This project aims to convene experts in social sciences, computational sciences, and engineering in order to articulate the social and technical dimensions in understanding the challenges of shaping emergent technologies that are equitable and result in “good” jobs for a wider range of workers.