ETSU’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts will be hosting a virtual screening of the Sundance selection documentary film “Coded Bias,” directed and produced by Shalini Kantayya. This film is to be screened as part of a three-part virtual series that will span across the fall semester in partnership with the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Films.
“This is the Martin School of the Arts’ 11th season as a partner venue with South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers,” said Anita DeAngelis, director of the Martin School of the Arts. “Over the years, we’ve screened films included in several notable film festivals such as Sundance, and we’ve screened films that were nominated for Academy Awards and Southern Circuit films encourages our patrons to engage in conversation and to experience film topics from a variety of perspectives.”
“Coded Bias” focuses around racial and gender biases inside Artificial Intelligence and the wider tech industry. The film follows three female mathematicians and data scientists: Joy Buolamwini, Deborah Raji and Timnit Gebru in their research of the implications of racial and gender bias in the cutting-edge technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“AI is a new battle ground for civil rights,” DeAngelis said. “[Kantayya] was inspired by the women in the film—data scientists and mathematicians who have dared to challenge authority and fight for more humane and ethical use of technology.”
This research began after Buolamwini realized while working on an art project that most facial recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women.
”The topic of artificial intelligence and the biases in the technology is one that is largely free from legislation and public scrutiny, yet AI now impacts our lives,” DeAngelis said. “The topic probably flies under the radar for many people, yet it plays a significant role in social justice issues.”
The live screening of “Coded Bias” will be on Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m., and a recording of the program will stream on Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. After the virtual screening there will be a prerecorded Q & A session with Kantayya to learn about how the film was made and to discuss some of the characters on a more in-depth basis. To view the trailer and register for, or pre-order, the free virtual screening of “Coded Bias,” visit www.etsu.edu/martin.