FYI - This upcoming ACM talk sounds relevant to iSchool research projects. You don’t have to be an ACM member to attend.


Date: 2/20/2019, 6:00-8:00 pm

Inclusive Innovation Incubator
2301 Georgia Ave NW
Washington DC 

The ACM Washington DC Speaker Series presents:

"Erase Unconscious Bias From Your AI Datasets" by Lauren Maffeo

6PM - Networking

7PM - Presentation


A young child defines the world purely on the small amount they can see. This is the root of dataset bias: intelligence based on information that’s too small or homogenous.

Advances in AI technologies like machine learning and deep neural networks have the potential to save time and boost productivity, but what happens if we train these technologies using datasets that exclude large portions of the population?

For example, some facial recognition software doesn’t acknowledge dark skin. Why? People of color were excluded from the datasets that were used to train the software. If AI isn’t designed with inclusion upfront, its rewards won’t equally benefit us all. This talk shares the risk of unconscious bias in algorithmic datasets, and how developers can overcome it.


Lauren Maffeo has reported on and worked within the global technology sector. She started her career as a freelance journalist covering tech trends for The Guardian and The Next Web from London. Today, she works as a senior content analyst at Gartner, where she covers the impact of emerging tech like AI and blockchain on small and midsize business owners.

Lauren has been cited by sources including Forbes, Fox Business, DevOps Digest, The Atlantic, Entrepreneur, and She has spoken at global events including Gartner’s Symposium in Florida, The Global Talent Summit at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, and Google Dev Fest in Virginia.

In 2017, Lauren was named to The Drum’s 50 Under 30 list of women worth watching in digital. That same year, she helped organize Women Startup Challenge Europe, which was the continent’s largest venture capital competition for women-led startups. She has served as a mentor for Girls in Technology’s Maryland chapter, and DCA Live included her in its 2018 list of “The NEW Power Women of Tech”. Lauren holds an MSc from The London School of Economics and a certificate in Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.