documentary hack
Coded BiasBy Shalini Kantayya

In a Nutshell

In Coded Bias, documentary filmmaker Shalini Kantayya explores the prejudices and threats to civil liberty posed by facial recognition algorithms and AI.

Favorite quote

The problem is that everyone has unconscious biases, and people embed their biases into technology.

Meredith Broussard, author, Artificial Unintelligence


During her time as a researcher with the MIT Media Lab, Ghanaian-American computer scientist Joy Buolamwini set out to build one of her first class projects using AI facial learning. As soon as she sat down to use the software, however, she encountered a problem: the software didn't recognize her face.

Upon investigating the algorithms, Buolamwini discovered that there was a significant amount of bias inherent in them. Worse, those prejudices disproportionately created unfavorable outcomes for the darker-skinned faces that the software was identifying.

Filmmaker Shalini Kantayya's documentary, Coded Bias, explores the implications of Buolamwini's research. By examining the biases that can creep into technology, the documentary sharpens our understanding of the unconscious ways technology can replicate our worst human impulses.

Here are the 3 key insights from this Hack

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