Film Review: Coded Bias

Today, more and more, our lives are steered, influenced and decided by algorithms. Major corporations and governments have realised that it’s much more efficient for them to let computers make decisions instead of humans. Whilst Artificial Intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly a game changer, these innovations are only as good as the people who program them. Those people are more often than not white and male.

In the new documentary from Shalini Kantayya, Coded Bias, she tackles the pressing issues surrounding the use of new technologies in our everyday lives. This investigation focuses on the startling discovery by MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini that facial recognition software has difficulty identifying women with darker skin. In doing so, she uncovers just one element of how this new automation inherently discriminates against certain groups.

Coded Bias highlights the impact and inequalities inherent within AI and the algorithms used to police our everyday lives. Female campaigners are taking the lead in this area, pressing governments to introduce new laws and take urgent action. It’s a complex and convoluted area but Coded Bias does a great job of clearly stating the problems, the issues which they throw-up and what the solutions might look like.  

Coded Bias is out in virtual US cinemas now.  

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