Joy Buolamwini

Algorithmic Bias Researcher

Role: Algorithmic Bias Researcher | Poet of Code

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Pronouns: she/her

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Education: M.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.S. Education (Learning & Technology); B.S. Computer Science, Georgia Institute of Technology

Fun Facts: Buolamwini's TED Talk on algorithmic bias has been viewed over one million times.

About Her Work: Joy Buolamwini uses art and research to bring to light the social implications of artificial intelligence. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League to create a world with more equitable and accountable technology. Her research has been covered in over 40 countries, and as a renowned international speaker she has championed the need for algorithmic justice at the World Economic Forum and the United Nations. In late 2018, in partnership with the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology, Joy launched the Safe Face Pledge, the first agreement of its kind that prohibits the lethal application of facial analysis and recognition technology.

Watch & Discuss

Poet of Code shares "AI, Ain't I A Woman " - a spoken word piece that highlights the ways in which artificial intelligence can misinterpret the images of iconic black women: Oprah, Serena Williams, Michelle Obama, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Shirley Chisholm.

  • Read the definition of Spoken Word in this article. How do you think this impacts listeners? What most strikes you about her poem?

  • AI can help identify and reduce the impact of human biases, but it can also make the problem worse by baking in and deploying biases at scale in sensitive application areas. Find some examples of this throughout the world.

Extension Activities

The Algorithmic Justice League’s mission is to raise awareness about the impacts of AI, equip advocates with empirical research, build the voice and choice of the most impacted communities, and galvanize researchers, policy makers, and industry practitioners to mitigate AI harms and biases. View the website here.