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CODED BIAS & the Algorithmic Justice League

Back in March 2021, we screened the documentary CODED BIAS, distributed by Women Make Movies. We also had the pleasure to host a Q&A with the film’s director Shalini Kantayya.

We have recently received an update from Women Make Movies sharing the activities of the Algorithmic Justice League (AJL), founded by Joy Buolamwini that featured in the film. AJL has been hard at work for the past five years building a movement and we at Women Make Movies are excited to share with you some of the important progress they have made since the release of the film CODED BIAS. We invite you to read some of the accomplishments and impact below and to learn more about them.

Some Highlights of AJL’s Impact:
  • Featured in TIME, New York Times, Telegraph, Frontline, Fast Company, Democracy Now!, BBC, and more in over 5,000 articles in more than 50 countries
  • Partnered with Olay on #DecodetheBias campaign to send 1,200 girls to Black Girls Code camp
  • Executed 12 Signed Coalitions Letters and participated in 3 Congressional Hearing Invitations
Brooklyn Tenants Win! 
One of the major wins since the CODED BIAS debut is the outcome for the Brooklyn Tenants featured in the film. AJL has helped build the voice and choice of the most impacted communities. They worked closely with tenants from the Atlantic Plaza Towers in Brooklyn who were protesting against the landlord's attempt to install facial recognition entry systems. AJL wrote an amicus letter in support, the tenants won, and the technology will no longer be used. Thank you CODED BIAS community for being a part of this!

#DecodetheBias Campaign
AJL’s founder, executive director, and “Poet of Code” Joy Buolamwini brought coded bias to life for tens of millions of Americans and people worldwide through the #DecodeTheBias campaign in partnership with OLAY. OLAY committed to greater accountability and also sent 1,200 girls to Black Girls Code camp! 

The national campaign provided a platform for AJL to educate and work with a national brand to shape the emerging field of algorithmic auditing and promote approaches that can transform the development of consumer AI products. Joy previewed to Forbes what the AJL and ORCAA (O’Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing) audit of the Olay Skin Advisor, a web-based tool that uses a selfie to analyze skin and recommend skincare products, can mean for the future for any industry that uses AI and data.
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Join the Surge: “We Need a Face Purge”
Facebook recently announced that it plans to delete a billion user's faceprints, a sign that AJL’s growing movement is creating pressure on the world's largest social media company. Yet within days, AJL learned that 'Meta' (FB's new parent company) may be planning to use invasive and non-consensual facial recognition technologies (FRTs) in the future Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality world of the Metaverse. This is a moment for our AJL and their community to celebrate small victories, while we focus on the magnitude of the work ahead. In the long run it will be up to the communities around the AJL movement to make it meaningful.

As Buolamwini said in The Washington Post, “Legislative action is as necessary as ever to continue to fight for algorithmic justice. We need an even bigger surge of FacePurges.”

Take Action. Sign Up to be an Agent of Change with AJL.
#GivingTuesday is coming! AJL could not do this important work without the community empowering them to achieve their goals of raising public awareness about the impacts of AI with empirical research, building a voice and choice of impacted communities, and ultimately to mitigate and redress AI harms.

As AJL says, “If you have a face, you have a place in the conversation about how AI shapes our lives”. AJL’s movement leads towards equitable and accountable AI so our communities can transform broken systems. You can learn more about how to join AJL on this #GivingTuesday, November 30th, by clicking the links below. 

Sign Up for Ajl’s Newsletters
Sign-up to be an Agent of Change
Visit the AJL SWAG Shop
Follow AJL:
Instagram @AJLUnited 
Twitter @AJLUnited 
Facebook @AJLUnited 
LinkedIn @AJLUnited

AJL has more exciting programmatic updates and impact to share with the CODED BIAS community in January of 2022, so stay tuned for another update about AJL in the New Year!