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Does tech discriminate?

Are we in danger of ingraining deep-seated prejudices into the technology we use on a daily basis? Our panel, chaired by The Gadget Show presenter Ortis Deley, discuss.

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About the talk

Discrimination continues to have a serious, measurable impact on everyday life in the 21st century, but while conscious and subconscious human decisions were historically the major driver of discrimination, increasingly, the technology we rely on so heavily is becoming part of the problem. 

Facial recognition systems, online search algorithms and social media echo chambers are just some examples of technology that has the potential to amplify discrimination, and as machine learning and AI systems become more advanced, how do we ensure they are free of their curators' prejudices? How can we create technology that works for everyone? 

A panel of experts come together to discuss and debate the issues and to explore solutions to mitigate the risks of bias in tech.

Speakers include: 

  • Alexander Fefegha: Co-founder and director of creative technology at design studio COMUZI. Alex is also an associate lecturer at the University of Arts London's creative computing institute, teaching a module on computational futures and artificial intelligence.
  • Ortis Deley (chair): The Gadget Show presenter, radio DJ and actor who has appeared as a guest technology reporter on programmes including BBC One's The One Show and BBC Breakfast News.
  • Alice Piterova: Managing Director of AI for Good, the social enterprise building AI-powered products for the most vulnerable and under-served. Alice has over 15 years of experience in business and product management, and a particular focus on such fields as tech for good, data privacy and machine learning.
  • Charlton McIlwain: Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU Steinhardt and author of Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice, From the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter.
  • Malika Malik: AI practitioner, Data & Artificial Intelligence Architect at Microsoft UK and an advocate of diversity and inclusion in technology. Malika was on Computer Weekly's 'Most Influential Women in the UK' longlist for 2020, was a Tech Women 100 UK winner in 2019 and is an expert advisor to the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI.

This event is part of the Science Museum's Group Open Talk programme, a series that aims to both underline the Science Museum Group's ambition to show that STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) is for everyone, and to promote understanding in our audiences of both causes and symptoms of discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, economic status or physical ability.