Coded Bias

Maureen Morrow

Ph.D., Biology and Virology, SUNY New Paltz


Keith O’Hara

Ph.D., Computer Science Program, Bard College


Juan Figueroa

Ulster County Sheriff


Tyrell Connor

Ph.D., Criminology & Sociology Department, SUNY New Paltz

Coded Bias— The face (recognition) of justice

Who decides what constitutes "acceptable" error in AI-based systems? In this community dialogue, local experts in computing, criminology, and sociology discuss ways in which artificial intelligence and face-recognition software discriminate against women and people of color.

Rosendale Theatre Collective Rosendale, NY

Film Synopsis

An exploration of the implications of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini's startling discovery that racial bias is written into the code of facial recognition algorithms.

Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against? When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, AI is not neutral, and women are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected.

Image courtesy of Shalini Kantayya

About the Speaker

Dr. Morrow received her B.S. and Ph.D from Cornell University. Her research interests focus on the human immune system. She also serves as a science advisor to the Theatre’s Science on Screen program.

Dr. O'Hara earned his B.S. from Rowan University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. His research involves robotics and interactive software systems.

Sheriff Figueroa previously served for 4 years with the US Marine Corps and 18 years with the Marine Corps Reserve. In 1988, he became a trooper with the New York State Police. He was elected Ulster County Sheriff in 2008.

Dr. Conner earned his B.A. at Hampton University and Ph.D. from Purdue University. His research focuses on racial outcomes within criminal justice innovations.