S2 Episode 1

Ep. 01 Artificial Intelligence, Implicit bias, and creating technology to better the world with Emily Reid

Brilliant; Determined; Futuristic. These are the words that come to mind for Emily Reid. Emily is determined to close the gender and diversity gap in how our technology is made. On this episode Tiffany Lanier explores bias in our Artificial Intelligence with computer scientist, Emily Reid

Meet Emily.

From WTF to Joy

Breaking into season two with Emily Reid, Tiffany and Emily start the conversation with one of Emily’s most recent WTF moments. Spoiler: it involves planes? Transversely, Emily discusses how some of hey joy comes from educating students interested in artificial intelligence (AI). 

All the Geeky Things
With hints of her future displaying themselves while she was still a child, Emily gives us a brief history on how she got involved in computer science, and what AI means in academic terms and how its advancement translates IRL.

AI and Social Impact

Algorithmic bias may be complicated in theory, but Emily breaks down how data, algorithms, and ultimately artificial intelligence contribute to our everyday lives. From facial recognition to innate human biases, while math and data play a large role in AI, it’s important to remember the real decision making that happens to build these systems come from people (and their biases).

AI for All
Teaching her students how to offset the inherent biases they have is one of two main goals of Emily and her team at AI for All. By educating a more diverse group of AI leaders (the second goal!), and reminding students to consider their biases and make ethical decisions, their future in AI can enact major change and position them as leaders in the AI field down the road.

The Ripple Effect
Emily explains why the most exciting part of teaching computer science students to be considerate and aware of the work they do in this field is the ripple effect—how her teaching can be passed through her students to more and more people, and how this effect can impact the field of AI.

Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist Biased
To combat some of the innate biases that students enter the field of computer science and AI with, Emily lays out the varying conversations she has with her students to get them thinking about their work in a broader sense. This is not something to be confused with bias training, as not to absolve students of the work they must continue to do, but rather the foundation to build and understand their work.

What About Us AI-illiterate?
For those of us who don’t completely understand the complexities of AI and computer science, there are still ways we can recognize algorithmic biases. Emily gives us examples and ways to react to the digital ads that we see on a day-to-day basis where we recognize these biases.

To the Future of AI

From fearless to curios to doubtful, Emily recognizes a flurry of reactions and emotions in her students as they approach learning computer science and diving into the world of artificial intelligence. While some are excited from the beginning, Emily understands the importance of representation in AI and
breaking down the stereotypes surrounding the technology industry. Emily also shares with us her overall goal for the work that she does.

What is AMV to you?
For Emily, a modern visionary is someone who can see the world as it is now, accepting the good and bad, but be able to move toward the more hopeful vision of the future.

Noteworthy Quotes:
– “For the most part, the concerns about AI are a little displaced.” (11:09)
– “How do we make sure we are creating AI leaders who are thinking about these issues ahead of
time? (18:02)
– “I can’t be good for the world if I’m can’t be good to myself or for myself.” (28:24)
– “How can we create a world where that technologically enabled world is designed by a more
representative group of people?” (29:45)
– “It’s all about balance and information and awareness.” (40:58)
– “I would like to see a world where computer science… [is] accessible to everyone.” 46:19

Emily’s Bio:

Emily is a computer scientist, educator, communicator and consultant interested in
how to use technology as a tool for increased humanity. She strongly believes that we can change the world for the better through a diverse and
inclusive technology industry, using computer science and computational thinking
as tools to solve pressing social problems.


Learn more about Emily’s Work: AI-4-all.org


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