2020-2021 Independent Lens Film Season
Coded Bias follows M.I.T. Media Lab computer scientist Joy Buolamwini, along with data scientists, mathematicians, and watchdog groups from all over the world, as they fight to expose the discrimination within facial recognition algorithms now prevalent across all spheres of daily life.
Indie Lens Pop-Up National Online Video Engagement Experience & Film Screening
Thursday, Mar. 18th
6:00 p.m. CT
Featured Special Guest – Jaidelynn Rogers
Facial recognition software misidentifies people of color. Our own minds fail us in similar ways, causing us to make false assumptions about complete strangers.
Inspired by the film Coded Bias, we’ll learn about our own implicit biases in this interactive IndieLens Pop-Up program led by Jaidelynn Rogers, Diversity Trainer for the SIU Office of the Associate Chancellor for Diversity.
WSIU & Carbondale Public Library will present a virual gathering on Zoom, Sunday, March 21st, 2:30-3:45 PM CT. To encourage candor and self reflection in a safe environment we will not be streaming or recording the program.
About the Film
In an increasingly data-driven, automated world, the question of how to protect individuals’ civil liberties in the face of artificial intelligence looms larger by the day. Coded Bias follows M.I.T. Media Lab computer scientist Joy Buolamwini, along with data scientists, mathematicians, and watchdog groups from all over the world, as they fight to expose the discrimination within facial recognition algorithms now prevalent across all spheres of daily life.
While conducting research on facial recognition technology at the M.I.T. Media Lab, Buolamwini, a “poet of code,” made the startling discovery that the algorithm could not detect dark-skinned faces or women with accuracy. This led to the harrowing realization that the very machine-learning algorithms intended to avoid prejudice are only as unbiased as the humans and historical data programming them.
Coded Bias documents the dramatic journey that follows, from discovery to exposure to activism, as Buolamwini goes public with her findings and undertakes an effort to create a movement toward accountability and transparency, including testifying before Congress to push for the first-ever legislation governing facial recognition in the United States. The film also includes data journalist Meredith Broussard; Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, who is monitoring the trial use of facial recognition technology by U.K. police; Virginia Eubanks, author of Automating Inequality; Ravi Naik, human rights lawyer and media commentator; Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, author and expert on algorithmic discrimination and technology bias; and Zeynep Tufekci, author of Twitter and Teargas.
Read More: When Bias Is Coded Into Our Technology
About The Filmmaker
In addition to Coded Bias, Shalini Kantayya directed the season finale episode for the National Geographic television series Breakthrough, a series profiling trailblazing scientists transforming the future, Executive Produced by Ron Howard, and broadcast globally in June 2017. Her debut feature film Catching the Sun, about the race for a clean energy future, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Catching the Sun released globally on Netflix on Earth Day 2016 with Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio, and was nominated for the Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary.
WSIU VIRTUAL FILM EVENTS
Indie Lens Pop-Up is a WSIU media project that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. The project, which features documentaries from the PBS hit series Independent Lens, draws local residents together to discuss newsworthy topics to family, relationships, and more. These virtual screening events are free and open to the public.
Sponsored Locally By
Discussion guide for the film Coded Bias
Short video of the film director performing a spoken word poem about artificial intelligence
Algorithmic Justice League
New York Times article on facial recognition
Guide for lawyers titled, “Poverty Lawgorithms”
Research on AI titled, “Upholding Human Rights and Dignity”
Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer
Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy