Webinar: Artificial Intelligence and Racism

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Monday 7th March at 5 pm CET/ 11 am EST / 8 am PST / 9.30 pm IST

As questions of race and justice have risen to the fore globally, across the sciences, the ALBA Network has invited Dr Shakir Mohamed (DeepMind) to provide a keynote speech on Artificial Intelligence and racism, and the implications for scientific research, that will be followed by a discussion chaired by Dr. Konrad Kording (neuromatch).

This event is interrogating the ways scientific advancements might be entangled with racialised ways of thinking. To explore this topic, we will study the ways that race is entangled in research in artificial intelligence, using examples from healthcare, language technologies, and policing. This raises fundamental questions about the types of technologies we can or should develop, bias in data, how we measure performance, and where scientific responsibility lies. We will also look at approaches to address these concerns, using the area of algorithmic fairness as one approach, and then the new challenges that fairness raises. Aspects of race are not only those of technical system design, but also in the design of our institutions, which connects this topic to the wider questions of representation and diversity in the sciences. There are no simple answers for questions of race, but we also hope to share some of the tools that can be used collectively to work towards racial equity, and truly support the widespread prosperity we hope is the real impact of scientific efforts.


5-5.10 pm: Welcome and brief introduction by Prof Carmen Sandi (EPFL,Switzerland) - ALBA Network Founder & Past Chair.

5.10-5.50 pm: Talk on "Artificial Intelligence and Racism – What are the implications for scientific research?" by Dr Shakir Mohamed (Senior Research Scientist at DeepMind, London, UK).
Dr Mohamed will be introduced by Prof Eleni Vasilaki (University of Sheffield, UK & University of Zurich, Switzerland)

5:50-6:30 pm: Discussion with the audience led by Dr Konrad Kording 
(Department of Neuroscience at University of Pennsylvania, US) - neuromatch co-founder.

Dr Shakir Mohamed

Shakir Mohamed is a scientist and engineer in the fields of statistical machine learning and artificial intelligence, working at DeepMind. He is interested in research that combines multiple disciplines and views of machine learning and its applications. He shapes his research efforts around three conceptual pillars: Probabilistic Foundations of Learning and Intelligence, Addressing Global Challenges, and Transformation. He works towards developing methods focused on probabilistic reasoning that lead to systems for agent-based decision-making. He works towards the application of machine learning to global challenges in healthcare and environment, and towards social Transformation that supports greater diversity, responsibility, and freedom. He likes exploring and writing about the connections between different computational, epistemological, and social paradigms and maintains a blog at blog.shakirm.com.

Shakir Mohamed

Dr Konrad Kording 

Dr. Kording (He/Him) is trying to understand how the world and in particular the brain works using data. Early research in his lab focused on computational neuroscience and in particular movement. But as the approaches matured, the focus has more been on discovering ways in which new data sources as well as emerging data analysis can enable awesome possibilities. The current focus is on Causality in Data science applications and on the understanding of how the brain does credit assignment. His lab style of working is transdisciplinary, collaborating on virtually every project. See: http://koerding.com

Dr Konrad Kording