A Princeton University course centered around correcting ‘racist’ technology has seen students focusing on soap dispensers that ‘don’t see dark skin’ and cameras that can’t pick out black faces, according to a Campus Reform report.
The course ran for 15 weeks and saw students attempting to overturn what was described as ‘racial biases built in tech’ and instead developing ‘actively anti-racist solutions’.
Students were tasked to “build and test systems that embrace anti-racism as a core value.”
The idea that faulty soap dispensers are a signifier of institutional racism has been pushed by Ruha Benjamin, Princeton professor of African American Studies in her book Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code which posits that “emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity.”
Benjamin stops short of claiming that technology is developed to be purposefully racist, but states that products “reflect the society they come out of.”
The Campus Reform report also notes that students ‘envisioned’ an augmented reality (AR) tool that would allow people to use phones to automatically ‘replace’ the names of buildings they deem to be too racist.
Examples of such structures were buildings on Princeton’s campus named after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and Samuel Stanhope Smith, a former Princeton president.
Both were targeted because the men they were named after were deemed to have ‘racist legacies’.
Critics have noted that this kind of social justice infiltration of education is one reason why wokeness is becoming so prevalent in wider society, with calls to literally re-write history, tear down statues and purge anything deemed to be racially insensitive, which apparently now includes rudimentary machines that deposit hygiene products.
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