W/A’s Queenstar Akrong attended the Black Women in AI event hosted by the Brookings Institution. Led by Dr. Nicol Turner–Lee, Senior Fellow and Director at the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, the convening highlighted the need to center and amplify diverse voices in the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence and its impact on society.  

Three themes of the conversation included:

  • Black Women Are Already Doing the Work in AI – Black women have generated research and policy recommendations about  the importance of civil and human rights protections, improved data quality, and the lawful compliance of AI and other emerging technologies long before 2023. This piece highlighting the achievements of Black women further illustrates the “hidden figures” leading the charge to create equitable representation in AI. 
  • Amplify Community Voice in Building AI Tools  – Dr. Renee Cummings with the University of Virginia’s School of Data Science emphasized the ways in which data has historically been weaponized (for ex: police departments adopting various computational systems to find potential threats) and used destructively against underrepresented communities; new innovations can oftentimes perpetuate past injustices. To combat this problem, Cummings asserted that it’s important to engage with community leaders at every level, including those most vulnerable to bias or exploitation when building AI tools. This approach can ensure data equity in nearly every sector, from criminal justice to health care, to education, and voting.
  • Brookings is Launching an AI Equity Lab – Led by the Center for Technology Innovation, the new Brookings initiative will convene stakeholders from across sectors and provide a platform for exploring research and policy deliverables through public events and off-the-record meetings. The aim of the new initiative is to ensure equitable development and deployment of AI. 

A full version of the event can be found here.