Author: Emma Rose

Emma J. Rose is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington Tacoma with an adjunct appointment in Human Centered Design & Engineering at University of Washington Seattle. Her research is motivated by a commitment to social justice to engage in questions about how technologies are designed and who is doing the designing.

Can technology be racist? This is a question I ask students to grapple with. Many of my students think that this question is absurd. Technologies cannot be racist, only people can. This is what I hear from many students at the beginning of the term. To these students, enrolled in an undergraduate technical communication class called “Power, Privilege, and Bias in Technology Design,” racism is something that is based on the intent and actions of a few bad or ill-informed individuals, not something encoded and embedded in something as seemingly neutral as technology. This is where we start the term,…

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