By List Debut
For all the hype about artificial intelligence and its potential for breakthroughs in areas like medical treatment and self-driving cars, there’s a potential dark side too. Joy Buolamwini, a researcher at the MIT Media Lab and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, is one of the most prominent figures to highlight the problem of algorithmic and A.I. bias for the public. She was the lead author of the landmark “Gender Shades” study, which led Microsoft and IBM to improve their facial-recognition technologies to better analyze the faces of darker-skinned women. She continued her work this year, publishing a study about biases within Amazon’s facial-scanning technology, which has prompted heavy pushback from the online retail giant. Additionally, Buolamwini has appeared before Congress, informing lawmakers about the potential problems the tech could pose for the criminal justice system.