Meredith Broussard - "More Than a Glitch" - Melanie Jeske

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Meredith Broussard

Meredith Broussard will discuss her book More Than a Glitch. She will be joined in conversation by Melanie Jeske. 

Presented in partnership with The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge

This event is in-person and will be located at the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge.

About the book: The word “glitch” implies an incidental error, as easy to patch up as it is to identify. But what if racism, sexism, and ableism aren't just bugs in mostly functional machinery—what if they're coded into the system itself? In the vein of heavy hitters such as Safiya Umoja Noble, Cathy O'Neil, and Ruha Benjamin, Meredith Broussard demonstrates in More Than a Glitch how neutrality in tech is a myth and why algorithms need to be held accountable. Broussard, a data scientist and one of the few Black female researchers in artificial intelligence, masterfully synthesizes concepts from computer science and sociology. She explores a range of examples: from facial recognition technology trained only to recognize lighter skin tones, to mortgage-approval algorithms that encourage discriminatory lending, to the dangerous feedback loops that arise when medical diagnostic algorithms are trained on insufficiently diverse data. Even when such technologies are designed with good intentions, Broussard shows, fallible humans develop programs that can result in devastating consequences. Broussard argues that the solution isn't to make omnipresent tech more inclusive, but to root out the algorithms that target certain demographics as “other” to begin with. With sweeping implications for fields ranging from jurisprudence to medicine, the ground-breaking insights of More Than a Glitch are essential reading for anyone invested in building a more equitable future.

About the author: Meredith Broussard is Associate Professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and Research Director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology. She is the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World (MIT Press). Her work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic, BBC, Wired, the Economist, and more. She appears in the 2020 documentary Coded Bias and serves on the advisory board for the Center for Critical Race & Digital Studies. More information at @merbroussard or

About the interlocutor: Melanie Jeske is a sociologist of science, medicine, and technology. Situated at the intersection of sociology and science and technology studies, her research examines the politics of biomedical knowledge production. Her work has been published in Science, Technology & Human Values, Social Science & Medicine, BioSocieties, PLOS One, Engaging Science, Technology and Society, as well as in edited collections and medical sociology textbooks. Jeske’s current book project, Organs on Chips: Translation, Biomedical Models, and the Politics of Innovation, examines the political economy of novel biomedical technologies called “organ chips.”

Event Location: 
The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
5737 South University Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637