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‘Automating Inequality’ author set to visit NZ

Techblog staff. 06 March 2019, 7:59 am

The impact of data mining and other high tech resources on the poorest members of society is the focus of a new book by Virginia Eubanks, who is visiting New Zealand this month to discuss its implications.

US-based professor and writer Virginia Eubanks will visit New Zealand in March for a series of events promoting her new book Automating Inequality and discussing the impacts of technology and big data on the poorest people in society.

For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements, and today is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany in New York. Her writing on technology and social justice has appeared in publications such as Scientific American, The Nation, Harper's, and Wired.

In her new book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor, Eubanks explores how data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models are increasingly affecting vulnerable people in society - the poor and working-class.

Tohatoha, in association with InternetNZ, is hosting events in Auckland and Wellington where attendees can meet Professor Eubanks and hear her perspective on how the issues raised in a USA context in her book may also be applicable to New Zealand.

"In an age where New Zealand is increasingly moving towards automation of public systems and social services, this is a prime opportunity to hear from a specialist on the subject and consider whether inequality is becoming automated in New Zealand, why it matters and what can be done about it," says Tohatoha CEO, Mandy Henk.

The Auckland event will be held on Friday, 15 March, 3-5pm - GridAKL, 12 Madden Street, Wynyard Quarter (Presentation, Q+A, book signing) and Wellington will see Eubanks on Monday, 18 March, 4-6pm at the Rangimarie Room, Te Papa, followed by a panel discussion with Professor Tim Dare - 'Are we automating inequality in Aotearoa?'.

Discussion and Q&A at the Auckland event will be led by Mandy Henk. The Wellington event will be led by Jordan Carter, CEO of InternetNZ. Tickets for these events are $25 (waged) or $10 (unwaged) and are available from online, the Auckland event here, and the Wellington event here.


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