How Monoculturalism, Aculturalism, and Postculturalism in Algorithmic Development Excludes a Variety of Contributions From Diverse Cultures

Hristova, S., Slack, J. D., Hong, S. (2020) Algorithmic Culture, Lexington Books.

22 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2020

See all articles by Ushnish Sengupta

Ushnish Sengupta

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Students; York University - Schulich School of Business

Date Written: June 8, 2020

Abstract

The algorithm development industry typically views itself as “acultural”, independent of culture, or often “post-cultural”, transcending cultural differences in developing the future. This chapter argues that algorithm development and particularly algorithm development is deeply rooted in narrow cultural practices making it 'monocultural'. Moreover, current cultural practices of algorithm development exclude genuine input from a broader variety of stakeholders, while simultaneously the negative impacts of algorithm development, such as algorithmic bias, are experienced primarily by communities and individuals who are not meaningfully involved in the development of the algorithms that affect them. A deliberate and significant effort towards increasing cultural diversity in the design and development of algorithms is required to enable genuine input from a broader group of stakeholders. Input from a broader group of stakeholders will in turn enable the development of solutions that address issues for a broader group of communities, and greater variety of innovative solutions that cannot be developed from a narrow cultural base. In this chapter the term “algorithm development” refers to the design and development of algorithms in the context of software applications.

Keywords: Algorithms, Software, Technology, Mono-Cultural, a Cultural, Post-Cultural, Culture, Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Mobility

JEL Classification: J60, J61, J62, J70, J71, L86, M15, M54, N32, O31, O32, O33, P12, Z11, Z13

Suggested Citation

Sengupta, Ushnish, How Monoculturalism, Aculturalism, and Postculturalism in Algorithmic Development Excludes a Variety of Contributions From Diverse Cultures (June 8, 2020). Hristova, S., Slack, J. D., Hong, S. (2020) Algorithmic Culture, Lexington Books., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3621779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3621779

Ushnish Sengupta (Contact Author)

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Students ( email )

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York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

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