In 2016, an MIT Graduate student gave a TEDx Talk in New York.  Joy Buolamwini’s  How I am fighting Algorithmic Bias, has been viewed by nearly 1.5 million people, and it later led to a journey of deeper discovery with other researchers and filmmaker Shalini Kantayya. Their resulting film, Coded Bias, was launched at the Sundance Festival in 2020 and later released on Netflix in April 2021. The film reveals in an accessible way how facial recognition software and automated decision-making has unprecedented power to reproduce bias at scale. As companies and governments increasingly outsource their services to entities which employ more machines and more machine learning , we can now see that algorithms are being used to decide what information we see, who gets hired, who gets health care, and who gets undue police scrutiny. Human rights lawyers and ethicists can see that this affects vulnerable communities the hardest.

Our distinguished panellists will bring Joy’s insights right up to date and will chart how fast the field is moving whilst also digging deep into the origins of this field. What steps can and should be taken by companies, individual people and researchers to change the way in which ordinary human bias and ignorance is encoded into our digitally driven world? How will we help enable machines not to make the same mistakes as we have historically made? Do we understand the concept of ethics in private and public companies well enough, let alone AI ethics? Do private companies have the same responsibilities as public and government institutions when it comes to transparency and accountability? Environmental, Social and Governance (ESGs) are all the rage but are they becoming a branch of marketing?


In this Panel discussion chaired by Lucy Hooberman, the panelists: Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Rumman Chowdhury, Margaret Mitchell will discuss how bias within algorithmic processes (related to bias in the source data, data processing accuracy or in the focus of the algorithm itself) has the potential for profound effects around how we are recognised/identified, what we are permitted to see and do and ultimately our access to a variety of opportunities, services and benefits in modern societies who are increasingly outsourcing this recognition and allocation to machine learning systems.

About the Video Vault Series

In partnership with the ACM we are pleased to be able to release a series of videos from the most recent Web Science Conference (ACM WebSci’21) that were previously only available to attendees of the conference.

The series will be released fortnightly and will include a selection of Keynote talks and Spotlight panel discussions.

Copyright / Links

This video is (c) 2021 provided under license from the ACM.