From a 16-year-old who might never go to college to an MIT PhD student who is pursuing her fourth degree, this year’s class of Enterprise Technology Under 30 honorees offers a mix of entrepreneurs, researchers, and corporate and government stars. All of them share at least one common trait: they know how to bridge the gap between technology’s endless possibilities and its practical use improving our lives.
The most impressive academic portfolio probably belongs to Joy Buolamwini, a computer scientist and digital activist based at the MIT Media Lab, where she identifies bias in algorithms and develops practices for accountability during design. During her research, Buolamwini showed facial recognition systems 1,000 faces and asked them to identify whether faces were male or female, she found that software found it hard to identify dark-skinned women. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League, an organization that looks to challenge bias in decision making software. Buolamwini is a Rhodes Scholar, Fulbright Fellow, holds master’s degrees from Oxford University and MIT, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is pursuing her PhD at MIT.