11/09 How I’m Fighting Bias in Algorithms – Talia Feinberg

In this TedTalk, the presenter discusses the idea of the inequalities of technology on the basis of race. I had watched this TedTalk before, and continue to find it useful as these problems will continue to arise alongside the progression of technology. The presenter first realized these inequalities when working on something called the “Aspire Mirror”; a technology that recognizes faces and can project different things onto the reflection. While she was working on this, she realized that the program had trouble detecting her face in comparison to her white roommate’s face. This brings her to her next point of explaining to the listeners what it takes to code for a technology that does facial recognition – a trainer exposes the technology to a variety of different faces and from there, the computer will pick up on features that constitutes a face, and be able to do this to faces it has not seen before. However, the quality of the technology in doing this depends on the diversity in which the trainer has exposed the computer to. Therefore, if the trainer is only showing white faces, the computer will only be able to recognize white people. 

I find this TedTalk very moving – in an age where coding is such an attractive field to enter, it is important for people of our generation to pick up on these inequalities in order to prevent them in the future. Her phrase, “who code matters” stuck out to me because based on her explanation, it is who codes the technology that determines if people of color will find it accessible or not to them. She ended her TedTalk by saying “technology should work for all of us not some of us”. This is an important statement to take with us in this class as we have discussed the technology gap in terms of race, socioeconomic status, age, and more. 

One thought on “11/09 How I’m Fighting Bias in Algorithms – Talia Feinberg

  1. Talia, your blog post was extremely insightful and I agree with all of the points that you bring up. The phrase “who code matters” is really representative of how important it is to consider diversity, equity, and inclusion in terms of development and technology. Furthermore, I think the phrase “who code matters” can be translated into an applicable phrase for any other field as well, because representation and diverse voices, thoughts, and opinions really matter in our society/work places. As a Sociology major, I am really interested in learning how to create spaces and places that are equitable and accessible for all, so this TedTalk and its topics were impactful for me.

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