Virginia Eubanks and Automating Inequality at Market Block Books

Virginia Eubanks automating inequality

One of the hottest books of the moment right now about the intersection between tech and government and society is Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks, an associate professor of political science at UAlbany and a Troy resident. And Eubanks will be at Market Block Books in downtown Troy March 31 to talk about the book.

Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor was released in January, and it's gotten a string of high-profile coverage and strong reviews in outlets ranging from NPR to Wired to Vox to Boing Boing. Book blurbage:

Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems--rather than humans--control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor.
Automating Inequality systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The book is full of heart-wrenching and eye-opening stories, from a woman in Indiana whose benefits are literally cut off as she lays dying to a family in Pennsylvania in daily fear of losing their daughter because they fit a certain statistical profile.

The event at Market Block is Saturday, March 31 at 11 am. It's free.

By the way: You might remember Eubanks from her article in The Nation a year or so back about Troy, the effects of Irene, and the future of flood insurance.

author photo: Sadaf Rassoul Cameron

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