The Technology and Structural Inequality Series: Bias and Discrimination in AI

Sponsored by the Department of Computer Science and CSREA

The Technology and Structural Inequality speaker series will focus on the impact of technology on marginalized communities. The series will bring together leading academics and activists whose work is influencing how we think about and how we fight against the harms that technology is causing. The speakers will examine how AI and machine learning algorithms can be biased and discriminatory.

Please join us for a roundtable discussion on bias and discrimination in AI on March 31, 2021 at 11 a.m. This discussion will feature:

  • Rediet Abebe, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley and a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows
  • Mutale Nkonde, founding CEO of AI For the People (AFP), Practitioner Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford, and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center of Internet and Society at Harvard University
  • Meredith Broussard, Associate Professor of Journalism, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, New York University

Moderated by Seny Kamara, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Brown University and Chief Scientist at Aroki Systems.

Free and open to the public. Please register to attend.

Presented by the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) in partnership with the Department of Computer Science’s Computing for the People Project.

Speaker Bios

Rediet Abebe is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley and a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Abebe holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University and graduate degrees in mathematics from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge. Her research is in artificial intelligence and algorithms, with a focus on equity and justice concerns. Abebe co-founded and co-organizes Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) – a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary initiative. Her dissertation received the 2020 ACM SIGKDD Dissertation Award and an honorable mention for the ACM SIGEcom Dissertation Award for offering the foundations of this emerging research area. Abebe’s work has informed policy and practice at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education. She has been honored in the MIT Technology Reviews’ 35 Innovators Under 35 and the Bloomberg 50 list as a one to watch. Abebe also co-founded Black in AI, a non-profit organization tackling equity issues in AI. Her research is influenced by her upbringing in her hometown of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mutale Nkonde is the founder of AI For the People (AFP), a nonprofit communications firm.. AFP’s mission is to produce content that empowers general audiences to combat racial bias in tech. Prior to starting AI for the People, Nkonde worked in AI Governance. During that time, she was part of the team that introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act, the DEEP FAKES Accountability Act, and the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act to the US House of Representatives. In 2021 Nkonde was the lead author of Disinformation Creep: ADOS and the Weaponization of Breaking News, Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, which kicked off her work in mis and disinformation. AI for the People recently co-produced a film with Amnesty International to support the ban the scan campaign a global push to ban facial recognition.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the author of the award-winning book Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. She is an affiliate faculty member at the Moore Sloan Data Science Environment at the NYU Center for Data Science, a 2019 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow, and her work has been supported by the Institute of Museum & Library Services as well as the Tow Center at Columbia Journalism School. A former features editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, she has also worked as a software developer at AT&T Bell Labs and the MIT Media Lab. Her features and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Vox, and other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via