Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping our engagement with technology and our comprehension of the world. As technology marches forward, diverse minds ensure that the progress made in AI is inclusive. Among these trailblazers, Black women are emerging as leading voices, challenging stereotypes and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in AI.
These women, among many others, are not just working in AI; they are redefining it. They bring questions of ethics, fairness, and representation to the table, ensuring that AI does not become another tool for perpetuating inequalities.
Biasedness in AI
A pressing concern in AI is the biased representation of Black characters. In many instances, AI models have reflected and even amplified racial biases present in data. From facial recognition software struggling to identify Black faces accurately to chatbots mimicking racial slurs, the bias in AI is palpable. These missteps are not mere technical glitches. It is a systemic issue of underrepresentation and oversight. The resulting technology can inadvertently perpetuate harmful stereotypes when Black voices are absent from the creation process.
They are correcting these biases and setting the foundation for an inclusive AI landscape. As more Black women rise in the ranks, mentor the next generation, and lead pivotal AI projects, a holistic change is on the horizon.
21Ninety has rounded up five Black women in AI who are doing fantastic work.
Top 5 Black Women in AI
Dr. Timnit Gebru
Dr. Timnit Gebru stands as a leading figure in AI ethics. She formerly co-led Google’s Ethical AI team and co-founded Black in AI, a community that supports Black researchers in the field. Her research focuses on algorithmic biases and the societal impact of AI, challenging the status quo and advocating for a more inclusive tech landscape.
Deborah Raji is a fervent advocate for algorithmic accountability in AI. She collaborates with organizations like the AI Now Institute and the Algorithmic Justice League. Her work primarily highlights biases in facial recognition technologies, emphasizing the need for AI systems that respect and understand diverse populations.
Dr. Joy Buolamwini
Dr. Joy Buolamwini, a researcher at the MIT Media Lab, is renowned for founding the Algorithmic Justice League. This organization shines a light on the social implications of AI, advocating for equitable and accountable AI systems. Buolamwini’s groundbreaking studies have mainly uncovered deep-seated biases in commercial facial recognition technologies. Her insights have sparked global discussions about the ethical considerations essential to AI development. Through her commitment, she raises awareness and pushes for reforms that ensure technology serves all of humanity without discrimination.
Dr. Rediet Abebe
Dr. Rediet Abebe is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. She harnesses computational methods to address socioeconomic disparities. Alongside her research, she co-founded Black in AI, an initiative promoting Black researchers in artificial intelligence. Her work continually emphasizes inclusivity and fairness in the tech industry.
Dr. Latanya Sweeney
Dr. Latanya Sweeney is a Professor of Government and Technology in Residence at Harvard University. She directs the Data Privacy Lab, where she explores technology’s intersection with law and policy. Renowned for her work on data privacy and algorithmic discrimination, she continually champions more transparent and accountable AI systems.