Confronting Race, Gender and Ability Bias in Tech

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Confronting Race, Gender and Ability Bias in Tech

How racism, sexism, and ableism aren't just glitches in mostly functional machinery—they're coded into our technological systems

By Digital Futures Institute

When and where

Date and time

Wed, 10 May 2023 15:00 - 17:00 BST


Bush House, Lecture Theatre 3 (NE) 0.01 30 Aldwych London WC2B 4BG United Kingdom

About this event

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.

Data journalist Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University, research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and the author of several books, including “More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech” and “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World.” Her academic research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting and ethical AI, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good.

Co-organised by the King’s College London Centre for Digital Culture, Digital Futures Institute, Department for Digital Humanities and Race Equality Network. This event is wheelchair accessible. Spaces are limited so if you book a ticket but cannot come to this event, please cancel your booking. For further information, please email

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