"If yesterday’s information scientists claimed that their models ranked authors by “productivity” and libraries by “effectiveness,” today’s “AI experts” claim that their algorithms rank “personalized” search results by “relevance.” These claims are never innocent descriptions of how things simply are. Rather, these are interpretive, normative, politically consequential prescriptions of what information should be considered relevant or irrelevant.
These prescriptions, disguised as descriptions, serve to reproduce an unjust status quo. Just as print publications should not be deemed obsolete and discarded from library collections on the basis of citation counts, online information should not be deemed irrelevant and ranked low in search results on the basis of “click-through rates” and ad revenues. The innovative experiments by Cuban information scientists remind us that we can design alternative models and algorithms in order to disrupt, rather than perpetuate, patterns of inequality and oppression" - Rodrigo Ochigame