School of Information 4th Annual Ethics and Technology Forum
October 20, 2023 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Pratt Manhattan Center room 201 - 144 W. 14th St., NYC
Fourth Annual School of Information Ethics & Technology Forum
With special guest speaker Meredith Broussard, author of More than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech.
Wine and hors d’oeuvres reception to follow.
CONFRONTING RACE, GENDER, & ABILITY BIAS IN TECH
What if racism, sexism, and ableism aren’t just glitches in mostly functional machinery—what if they’re coded into our technological systems? In this talk, data scientist and journalist Meredith Broussard explores why neutrality in tech is a myth and how algorithms can be held accountable.
Broussard, one of the few Black female researchers in artificial intelligence, explores a range of examples: from facial recognition technology trained only to recognize lighter skin tones, to mortgage-approval algorithms that encourage discriminatory lending, to the dangerous feedback loops that arise when medical diagnostic algorithms are trained on insufficiently diverse data. Even when such technologies are designed with good intentions, Broussard shows, fallible humans develop programs that can result in devastating consequences.
Broussard argues that the solution isn’t to make omnipresent tech more inclusive, but to root out the algorithms that target certain demographics as “other” to begin with. She explores practical strategies to detect when technology reinforces inequality, and offers ideas for redesigning our systems to create a more equitable world.
ABOUT MEREDITH BROUSSARD
Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and the research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology. She is the author of More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech (MIT Press, 2023), as well as the award-winning2018 book Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with particular interests in AI ethics and using data analysis for social good. She appears in the Emmy-nominated documentary “Coded Bias,” now streaming on Netflix. Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute of Museum & Library Services, and the Tow Center at Columbia Journalism School. A former features editor at thePhiladelphia 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 New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Vox, and other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.
ABOUT THE ETHICS AND TECHNOLOGY FORUM
As New York evolves to become a major tech hub, and more students seek employment in technology companies, the School of Information must not only teach the knowledge and skills students need, but also imbue students with an ability to be critical, reflective, and thoughtful about their role and their employers’ roles in the world. The annual School of Information Ethics and Technology Forum brings thought leaders to discuss the most pressing issues on this topic with the Pratt Institute community. Past speakers include Tim Wu, Sherry Turkle and Cliff Kuang.
WELCOME BY Dr. Anthony Cocciolo, Dean of the School of Information at Pratt Institute.
INTRODUCTION BY Dr. Donna Heiland, Provost of Pratt Institute.
Open to the Pratt Institute community and friends of Pratt.
RSVP required; please register via Eventbrite.