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May 30, 2023 at 5.00pm – 6.30pm


Palo Alto: The Grit Beneath Tech’s Glitter

Join us for a conversation on the seedy underside to Tech’s past, present, and future.



If the industry’s most credulous boosters are to be taken at their word, the contemporary tech industry is an economic freight train driven by big-brained disrupters who are charting a path toward a future of mutual prosperity, boundless leisure, and unfettered innovation. But in recent years some of the luster has come off of Tech’s carefully crafted reputation—thanks to stories of self-combusting cars, high-profile fraud convictions, and other headline grabbing fiascos. Just how much bluff and bluster, not to mention skeletons, lay buried beneath Silicon Valley’s idyllic hills? And what does a future without cheap credit and greatly diminished credibility mean for the tech industry?

For this event, Malcolm Harris, author of Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalismand the World will be conversation with Timnit Gebru, found and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR).

***Register through Eventbrite to receive a link to the video conference on the day of the event. This event will also be recorded and live captioning will be provided.***


Timnit Gebru is the founder and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR). Prior to that she was fired by Google in December 2020 for raising issues of discrimination in the workplace, where she was serving as co-lead of the Ethical AI research team. She received her PhD from Stanford University, and did a postdoc at Microsoft Research, New York City in the FATE (Fairness Accountability Transparency and Ethics in AI) group, where she studied algorithmic bias and the ethical implications underlying projects aiming to gain insights from data. Timnit also co-founded Black in AI, a nonprofit that works to increase the presence, inclusion, visibility and health of Black people in the field of AI, and is on the board of AddisCoder, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching algorithms and computer programming to Ethiopian highschool students, free of charge.

Malcolm Harris is a freelance writer and the author of Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the WorldKids These Days: The Making of Millennials, and Shit is Fucked Up and Bullshit: History Since the End of History. He was born in Santa Cruz, CA and graduated from the University of Maryland.