This $5,000 USD no-strings-attached award recognizes an excoded recipient who has contributed to the fight against algorithmic harms and biases.
Feb 21, 2023. – The Algorithmic Justice League (AJL), an organization that combines art and advocacy to illuminate the social implications and harms of artificial intelligence (AI) is honored to present Robert Williams with the first ever Gender Shades Justice Award. This award was created to mark the fifth anniversary of the groundbreaking Gender Shades paper authored by AJL founder Dr. Joy Buolamwini and Dr. Timnit Gebru.
After being falsely matched as a suspect in a shoplifting case by a facial recognition system, Mr. Williams was arrested in front of his wife and daughters and was held for more than 30 hours. Mr. Williams has been courageous in sharing his story and leading the fight for change. He has testified about the injustice he suffered before Congress and has appeared widely in the media (including in a New York Times feature story) to set the record straight about the risks that unreliable and harmful use of facial recognition technologies pose to excoded communities
“We are so grateful to Robert for his leadership and resilience.” Said Dr. Joy Buolamwini, AJL Founder, “The unaccountable and irresponsible use of facial recognition technologies and other algorithmic systems, despite well documented limitations, is causing completely preventable harm. This is especially true when these systems are used by law enforcement agencies. We applaud Robert for lifting up his experience at great personal cost. We’re honored to present him with the first Gender Shades Justice Award. We hope this award will inspire others to recognize and center the leadership of the excoded”
The Gender Shades Justice Award is designed to honor a recipient who has experienced AI harm, taken the risk of voicing their experiences, and actively worked to prevent future harm. While there are contests and awards that recognize the efforts of researchers evaluating AI systems, this award seeks to address the fact that there are few avenues through which those impacted by AI harm are publicly celebrated and recognized for their contributions in the fight for algorithmic justice.
The following quote can be attributed to Robert Williams.
"I would like to say thank you for the recognition and for another opportunity to speak about the harmful ways FRT [facial recognition technology] is being used. I am certain that I am not alone in this battle and will do what I can to continue the push to make everyone aware of the dangers associated with this tech and how it's being used. Again thank you for this honor!"
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