Joy Buolamwini: Unmasking the Future of AI

To many of us, it might seem like recent developments in artificial intelligence emerged out of nowhere to pose unprecedented threats to humanity. But to Dr. Joy Buolamwini, a trailblazer in AI research, this moment has been a long time in the making. Dr. Buolamwini has spent decades pondering the many implications of an AI-powered world—all the potential benefits, detriments, and injustices. 

But Dr. Buolamwini hasn’t simply explored the potential for harm by AI; she has researched and identified real-world AI harm that has already been done by some of the world’s largest tech companies. In graduate school, she led groundbreaking research at MIT’s Future Factory that exposed widespread racial and gender bias in AI services from tech giants like Microsoft, IBM, and Apple. In her upcoming book, Unmasking AI, Dr. Buolamwini takes readers through the remarkable journey of how she uncovered what she calls “the coded gaze”—the evidence of encoded discrimination and exclusion in tech products—and how she galvanized the movement to prevent AI harms by founding the Algorithmic Justice League. 

Dr. Buolamwini has educated President Biden's administration and international leaders at the World Economic Forum and the United Nations on the importance of rectifying algorithmic harms. Her work has been featured in TimeThe New York Times, and the Netflix documentary Coded Bias. Now, she shares her story with us. 

Join us to hear from a pioneer of algorithmic justice as talks with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Wall Street Journal technology journalist Deepa Seetharaman, explaining Buolamwini's belief that computers are reflections of both the aspirations and the limitations of the people who create them.


Speaker photo by Naima Green.

Image - Sam Altman

Sam Altman

CEO, OpenAI; X @sama

Image - Joy Buolamwini

Joy Buolamwini

Founder, the Algorithmic Justice League; Author, Unmasking AI: Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines; X @jovialjoy

In Conversation with Deepa Seetharaman

Tech Reporter, The Wall Street Journal; X @dseetharaman