Beyond Bias in AI with Shalini Kantayya

Shalini Kantayya shares her journey to AI advocacy, documents the invisible hand of AI today, how storytelling and empathy enable difficult conversations, and why everyday people are key to transformative social change.
Shalini Kantayya is a storyteller, social activist, and filmmaker who explores challenging social topics with empathy and humor. Shalini’s film Coded Bias debunks the myth that AI algorithms are objective by nature. 

In this thought-provoking discussion, Shalini illustrates why film is a powerful medium for social change (hint: it’s about empathy), shares her belief that humans – not machines – must reinvent the future, and shows how inclusion and a focus on the human experience are critical to get AI right.  

Shalini artfully traces the inspiration for Coded Bias and the danger in ceding human autonomy to any unintelligent system. Kimberly and Shalini discuss why good intent and a sole focus on fairness and bias are not enough when considering AI’s future. Highlighting the work of researchers such as Dr. Timnit Gebru and Joy Buolamwini, Shalini makes the case for inclusion in AI and shares a proven recipe for moving the dial on ethical AI. Finally, Shalini speaks to the need for empathy in all things – including toward our innate human propensity for bias. And how storytelling keeps the human experience front-and-center, allowing us to cross boundaries and open hearts and minds to a different point of view.   

A full transcript of this episode can be found here

Our next episode features Lama Nachman. Lama leads Intel’s Human & AI Systems Research Lab where she directs some of the most impactful work - such as giving people back their voice - in applied AI today. Subscribe now to Pondering AI so you don’t miss her. 

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Beyond Bias in AI with Shalini Kantayya
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