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Understanding digital discrimination: analysing Marshall McLuhan’s work through a human rights lense

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tanya Krupiy


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The use of artificial intelligence applications is proliferating. The human rights community is documenting the impact which the employment of artificial intelligence decision-making processes has on the values and rights protected by international human rights treaties. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance E. Tendayi Achiume emphasizes the need to consider the employment of digital technologies in light of the social, economic and political forces which shape the design and use of these technologies. This article employs Marshall McLuhan’s scholarship as a lens of analysis to investigate how the operation of artificial intelligence decision-making processes bears on the values which the prohibition of discrimination protects. It interprets McLuhan’s scholarship through a human rights lens. The paper identifies some of the ways in which the operation of artificial intelligence decision-making processes transforms the subjects of the decision-making and how other individuals perceive them. It uncovers the role of artificial intelligence decision-making processes in the production of inequality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Krupiy T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication

Year: 2021

Volume: 2

Issue: 1

Pages: 34-55

Online publication date: 13/09/2021

Acceptance date: 01/02/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2563-3198

Publisher: University of Toronto