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March 18, 2022

Meet Joy Buolamwini, a Datanami 2022 Person to Watch

There’s no doubt that AI will have a big impact on our collective future, but there are doubts whether that impact will be all positive. The potential for bias, specifically, is one of the big unknowns. One of the folks helping us to explore those unkowns is Joy Buolamwini, who is a Datanami Person to Watch for 2022.

The following is from Buolamwini’s profile at MIT Media lab.

“Joy Buolamwini is a poet of code who uses art and research to illuminate the social implications of artificial intelligence. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League to create a world with more equitable and accountable technology. Her TED Featured Talk on algorithmic bias has over 1 million views. Her MIT thesis methodology uncovered large racial and gender bias in AI services from companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. 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. Buolamwini serves on the Global Tech Panel convened by the vice president of European Commission to advise world leaders and technology executives on ways to reduce the harms of A.I.

“As a creative science communicator, she has written op-eds on the impact of artificial intelligence for publications like TIME Magazine and New York Times. In her quest to tell stories that make daughters of diasporas dream and sons of privilege pause, her spoken word visual audit “AI, Ain’t I A Woman?” which shows AI failures on the faces of iconic women like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, and Serena Williams as well as the Coded Gaze short have been part of exhibitions ranging from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to the Barbican Centre, UK. A Rhodes Scholar and Fulbright Fellow, Joy has been named to notable lists including Bloomberg 50Tech Review 35 under 35BBC 100 WomenForbes Top 50 Women in Tech (youngest), and Forbes 30 under 30.

“Buolamwini holds two masters degrees from Oxford University and MIT; and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former pole vaulter, she still holds sentimental Olympic aspirations. Fortune Magazine named her to their 2019 list of world’s greatest leaders describing her as “the conscience of the A.I. Revolution.””

You can read about the rest of the 2022 Datanami People to Watch winners here.