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Decolonizing Data, Algorithm, and Visuals in the Global South

Through projects within this theme, I point out how the existing data, algorithm, and visualization practices are still under the colonial influence and therefore, further marginalize underserved communities. I showed that scientific and economic rational practices in modern computing and HCI follow Western value-centric modernity and I argue for decoupling such rational practices and the universal notion of Western modernity. This theme comprises several projects: (a) witchcraft practices, (b) rural visualization practices, (c) data-driven predictions and decision-making in rural betting, (d) rural situated fact-checking and information analysis, and (e) big data and AI in the Global South  

(a) Witchcraft and HCI: 

(b) Rural Traditional Visualization: I investigated rural Bangladeshi arts, crafts, and visualization and found the differences in the grammar of traditional visual practices and modern data-driven visual practices. The findings of this work have shed light on traditional ways of constructing narratives and consequences and discussed how abstraction and semiology are associated with them. Building on the findings from the fieldwork, we designed pictorial consent forms for rural Bangladeshi users and evaluated them with the villagers. 

(c) Data-driven prediction, luck and hunch in betting:

(d) Rural situated fact-checking and faith-based wellbeing:

(e) Big Data and AI in the Global South: I have engaged with many researchers working on big data and Ai in the Global South through workshops and discussed existing colonial oppressions in today's data practices and possible ways to decolonize them. 

The objective of this project is to decolonize data, algorithm, and visualization in the Global South using local intelligence, which includes faith-based beliefs, myth, language, and arts and crafts. I study the knowledge, materials, and politics involved in rural Bangladeshi local art, culture, visuals and computing in rural witchcraft, Nakshi-Katha, and Hindu idol-making practices and find how HCI research may benefit by making a deeper engagement with various local moral values, emphasizing communal relationships, and neutralizing radicalism.

Selected publications and activities: 

  • [CHI 2023] Abstraction and semiology in constructing visual narratives [manuscript submitted],

  • [FAccT 2022] Big data and AI in Global South [Workshop], 

  • [Mozilla Festival 2022] Decolonizing AI [Workshop],

  • [ECSCW 2022] Fieldwork reflections on pictorial consent,

  • [CHI 2021] Understanding luck, hunch, faith, and data-driven prediction in betting

  • [CSCW 2021] Rural fact-checking procedure for misinformation [🏅Diversity and inclusion recognition]

  • [CSCW 2020] Contrasting grammar of modern data visualization and local traditional visualization

  • [ACM Interactions 2020] Rural faith-based practice in combating COVID-19,

  • [CHI 2019] Witchcraft and HCI: Morality, modernity, and postcolonial Computing.

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