Knowing Machines Team

Mike Ananny headshot

Mike Ananny (Co-PI) is an Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism and Affiliated Faculty of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He studies the public significance of digital news infrastructures and the politics of algorithmic systems, and co-directs the interdisciplinary USC collective MASTS (Media As SocioTechnical Systems). He is the author of Networked Press Freedom (MIT Press, 2018) and co-editor (with Laura Forlano and Molly Wright Steenson) of Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019). He holds a PhD from Stanford University, a Masters from the MIT Media Laboratory, and has written for popular press publications including The Atlantic, Wired Magazine, Harvard's Nieman Lab, and the Columbia Journalism Review.

Christo Buschek headshot

Christo Buschek is a programmer and data journalist. His focus lies in data-driven research, which he combines with storytelling to expose human rights abuses and strengthen social justice. Among other projects, Buschek's open-source software, Sugarcube, has been used to preserve the most extensive collection of documentation on war crimes in Syria. Buschek received the Kim Wall Award, the Sigma Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for the project "Built to Last," which documented the mass incarceration of Uighurs in China. Additionally, Buschek is a Knowing Machines Fellow at the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at the New York University, studying the biases of datasets that underlie today's AI, and works on an expert level for the CDCPP of the Council of Europe to promote the importance of freedom of artistic expression. In the past, Buschek has also trained non-profit staff and human rights activists in digital security and privacy.

Sarah Ciston headshot

Sarah Ciston (they/she) is a Mellon Fellow and PhD Candidate in Media Arts and Practice at University of Southern California and an Associated Researcher at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, researching how to bring intersectional theories, ethics, and tactics to artificial intelligence. They also lead Creative Code Collective, a community for co-learning programming using approachable, interdisciplinary techniques. Their artistic research projects include a machine learning interface to "rewrite" the inner critic and a chatbot that tries to explain feminism to online misogynists. They are currently developing a zine library and coding resource hub called the Intersectional AI Toolkit.

Sarah Ciston headshot

Frances (Franny) Corry's research focuses on critical-historical approaches to information, with emphasis on the prehistories and afterlives of data-intensive systems. She is a 2022-23 Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Digital Culture and Society and will be joining the University of Pittsburgh's School of Computing and Information as an Assistant Professor in 2023. She received her PhD in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Kate Crawford headshot

Kate Crawford (Lead-PI) is a leading international scholar of the social and political implications of artificial intelligence. She is a Research Professor of Communication and STS at USC Annenberg, a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York, an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, and the inaugural Visiting Chair for AI and Justice at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her research is widely published in venues such as Nature, Science, Technology,and Human Values, and New Media & Society, and she has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and The Washington Post. Anatomy of an AI System, her project with Vladan Joler, won the Beazley Design of the Year Award and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the V&A in London. Her collaboration with the artist Trevor Paglen, Excavating AI, won the Ayrton Prize from the British Society for the History of Science. Crawford's latest book, Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence (Yale University Press) was described as “trenchant” by the New York Review of Books, “a fascinating history of data” by the New Yorker, a “timely and urgent contribution” by Science, and named one of the best books in 2021 by the Financial Times and New Scientist.

Melodi Dincer headshot

Melodi Dincer is a technology privacy lawyer in Washington, D.C. and a Legal Research Fellow with the Knowing Machines Project. Her interests lie at the confluence of emergent technologies and lagging legal protections, focusing on power imbalances in the development and adoption of new technologies. She has advocated for strong digital civil liberties as well as policies protecting privacy and autonomy online. Previously, she was an Appellate Advocacy Fellow with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), where she identified cases of interest, drafted amicus briefs, and presented privacy-preserving arguments before state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Her briefs informed judges of all stripes about digital searches under the Fourth Amendment, biometric privacy, standing in privacy cases, and limiting the flow of location data. Additionally, she clerked on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In law school, she interned with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and participated in NYU Law’s Technology Law & Policy Clinic. She holds A.B.s in Religious Studies and Classics­–Latin from Brown University and a J.D. from NYU Law. She is a member of the New York bar.

Vladan Joler headshot

Vladan Joler is an academic, researcher and artist whose work blends data investigations, counter-cartography, investigative journalism, writing, data visualization, critical design and numerous other disciplines. He explores and visualizes different technical and social aspects of algorithmic transparency, digital labor exploitation, invisible infrastructures and many other contemporary phenomena in the intersection between technology and society. He is SHARE Foundation co-founder and professor at the New Media department of the University of Novi Sad.

Edward Kang headshot

Edward (Byungkwon) Kang is a PhD candidate at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His research concerns the social dimensions of machine learning technologies and the cultures in which they are embedded, with a specific focus on the intersection of sound, identity, and data. In the context of his dissertation, he explores the sociotechnical imaginaries around voice and listening that undergird the operational logics of contemporary voice identification/biometric and analysis systems. His writing has been published in Social Studies of Science, New Media & Society, and the International Journal of Communication. He has previously served as a committee member for Annenberg's annual Communication and Cultural Studies graduate student conference Critical Mediations, led Music Production workshops for Annenberg's Critical Media Project with California Humanities, and worked as assistant editor for the International Journal of Communication. In his personal life, he is semi-active as a music producer, sound engineer, and DJ.

Jake Karr headshot

Jake Karr is the Teaching Fellow and a Supervising Attorney in NYU’s Technology Law & Policy Clinic and a Fellow at the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy. His clinical work focuses generally on free expression, surveillance, and transparency, and his research interests include the privacy and speech implications of digital technologies. Previously, Jake was the Stanton Fellow in the First Amendment Clinic at ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. Earlier in his career, he served as a legal fellow at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and as an associate at a litigation boutique in New York City. He also clerked for the Honorable Allyne R. Ross of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Jake is a graduate of NYU Law and Brown University.

Sasha Luccioni headshot

Sasha Luccioni is a Research Scientist working at Hugging Face. Her work aims to study the societal and ethical impacts of AI, and her goal is to find ways to maximize the positive effects of AI while minimizing the negative ones, be it from a research or application perspective. Sasha's work has been featured in various news and media outlets such as MIT Technology Review, WIRED and the Wall Street Journal, among others, both her projects on the environmental impact of AI and those on how to reduce it. She is also a 2020 National Geographic Explorer and a founding member of Climate Change AI.

Jason Schultz headshot

Jason Schultz (Co-PI) is a Professor of Clinical Law, Director of NYU's Technology Law & Policy Clinic, and Co-Director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy. His clinical projects, research, and writing primarily focus on practical frameworks and policy options to help traditional areas of law such as intellectual property, privacy, consumer protection, and civil rights adapt in light of new technologies and the challenges they pose.

Will Orr headshot

Will Orr is a PhD student at USC Annenberg. His research explores the politics of data, with a focus on the cultural production of data and the sociotechnical challenges faced by creators throughout the machine learning pipeline. Will hold a BA in Sociology and Politics from the University of Melbourne, and a Master of Applied Data Analytics from the Australian National University. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Justice and Technoscience (JusTech) lab at ANU’s School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). Will’s work has been published in Information, Communication and Society, and Antipode.

Hamsini Sridharan headshot

Hamsini Sridharan is a 2nd year PhD student at Annenberg. She studies historical and contemporary entanglements of digital technologies with environmental imaginaries and speculative futures, asking how such entanglements shape the critique, contestation, and governance of technology. She holds an MPA from the USC Price School of Public Policy, where she focused on digital media policy, as well as an MA in Anthropology from Columbia University, where she explored the sociocultural underpinnings of conservation genetics. Her undergraduate degree is in Anthropology and International Studies from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the doctoral program at Annenberg, she was the program director for MapLight, a nonprofit organization, where she advanced policy efforts related to campaign finance reform and digital disinformation through research and analysis, coalition building, and public communication.

Jer Thorp headshot

Jer Thorp is an artist, writer and teacher living in New York City. He is best known for designing the algorithm to place the nearly 3,000 names on the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan. Jer was the New York Times' first Data Artist in Residence, is a National Geographic Explorer, and in 2017 and 2018 served as the Innovator in Residence at the Library of Congress.

Hannah Franklin headshot

Hannah Franklin is the Project Manager of Knowing Machines.