Tech [and] Bias

Since participating in YWCA Cleveland’s amazing 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge last year, I’ve been working to learn more about data/tech bias. It’s a huge, ugly, multi-fanged beast, from the appalling lack of diversity in Silicon Valley to algorithms that are spreading systemic bias faster than COVID-19 (and with equally devastating effects).
Definitely depressing and not a little overwhelming. But here are a few resources that have had a particular impact on me: 

  • If you have 5 minutes: Watch Joy Buolamwini’s AI, Ain’t I a Woman? Buolamiwini is the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League; she calls herself “the poet of code” and uses art and research to illuminate the social implications of artificial intelligence. 
  • If you like to read: Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks documents – in deeply personal detail – the devastating impacts that data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models can have on poor and working-class people in America.
  • If you’re ready for some good news in your Inbox: Tech for Good’s newsletter features stories, resources, and news demonstrating the potential of tech for good in the nonprofit sector.

PS: I also recommend YWCA Cleveland’s series, Go LIVE for Equity 2.0. *

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