Recent scholarship in AI ethics warns that computing work has treated problematic features of the status quo as fixed, failing to address and even exacerbate deep patterns of injustice and inequality. Acknowledging these critiques, we ask: what roles, if any, can computing play to support and advance fundamental social change? We articulate four such roles -- computing as a diagnostic, formalizer, rebuttal, and synecdoche -- through an analysis that considers the opportunities as well as the significant risks inherent in such work. We then discuss how these insights may be used to support advocacy work aimed at fostering more equitable and just systems.
This keynote talk will be 30 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of commentary by Prof. Martha Minow (Harvard Law School), and 20 minutes of Q&A.