“How do we make the invisible become visible in the study of software? How is knowledge transformed when mediated through code and software?” This quote from chapter 8 effectively encapsulates the purpose of our exercises this semester. We have been experimenting with various ways to illustrate concepts and stories using code and software. We are not just concentrating on the content but also looking for the most effective ways to present these notions to our audience. This course teaches various ways to present information, and that various methodologies are more efficient depending on the information being tried to convey.
This chapter in our readings aims to tie together the themes explored throughout the book in theorizing computational approaches in the social sciences, humanities, and arts. The digital becomes a prospective research software, and the condition of possibility for research as research progresses to be framed in terms of computational classifications and ways of thinking. This week, we will review several readings and media, reflecting on and critiquing Digital Humanities.
In Digital Creativity as Critical Material Thinking: The Disruptive Potential of Electronic Literature, gnosis and poiesis, two different ways of thinking, were discussed. Poiesis, also referred to as active thinking, building or creating as a way to learn, is contrasted with gnosis, which is thought of as conceptual thinking. Gnosis is the main topic of discussion in digital humanities. In our course, we used modelling techniques to represent ideas and perspectives in assignments in this semester’s readings and media from other digital humanists. This form of education is a very effective way to retain knowledge about what digital humanities encompasses, as well as a hands-on approach to understanding systems available to us.
In Safia Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism – Chapter 1: A Society, Searching, biases are inherent; according to Cathy O’Neil, we must be conscious of them and work to overcome them. Algorithms do not guarantee accuracy. Cathy O’Neill talked about how our collective past forms algorithms; they conceal unpleasant truths and portray them as success. To audit these algorithms, we must comprehend how they are created. Safia Noble discovered that Google’s autosuggestions were incredibly racial, sexist, and demeaning. The algorithm used to generate these autosuggestions reflects how our society still thinks. These biases must be considered and their fairness evaluated.
The unfairness that might occur in the digital world was brought to light by the following video. In her Ted Talk, Cathy O’Neil described how algorithms in our daily lives—some of which may not even be our own—can determine whether we succeed or fail. Even if we were “the best,” we might not be able to prevail in these political algorithms. Algorithms, according to Cathy, are merely perceptions embedded in code, so despite our best efforts, they will always be biased unless we constantly audit them and never wholly trust in them.
Technology is a part of human culture; this is addressed in the Cambridge Conversation video. Few people are not utilizing technology or who do not own technology in our society. They claimed that while technology cannot replace the human race and cannot replicate human language or culture, it enables us to act and view the world differently through studying digital humanities.
There will always be alternative perspectives on the digital humanities. On the subject of the progress and whether digital humanities is moving in the right direction or not, there are a variety of viewpoints. I believe that the answer is not black and white in some aspects. On the political implications and the amount of power the digital world and technology give a person, or even country, there are opposing points of view, and there always will be. With the aid of digital humanities technology, there is much more knowledge to gain. The digital world is adapting and changing daily, just like society; we must accept this and work together to make positive progress. Every form of technology can positively or negatively impact us; it is up to us to determine our path. The fact that digital humanities will always change in some way makes it noteworthy. The course’s fundamentals can be learned, but as technology advances, so can the methods they teach.