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POSTPONED: CITRIS, CDSS and BAIR Present Timnit Gebru on Community-rooted AI Research

Banner with blue shapes. Text reads: Oct. 25, Distinguished lecture on the Status and Future of AI, Independent Community-rooted AI Research, Timnit Gebru, Founder and Executive Director, Distributed AI Research Institute.

This event will be rescheduled. Registered attendees will be notified by email when the new date is selected.

Talk Title: “Independent Community-rooted AI Research”

Speaker: Timnit Gebru, Founder and Executive Director, Distributed AI Research Institute

Abstract: The Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR) was launched in December 2021 by Timnit Gebru as a space for independent, community-rooted AI research, free from Big Tech’s pervasive influence. Unlike the current trend of centralizing power and claiming to build one giant model that serves the needs of everyone while stealing data and exploiting labor, DAIR works on small task-specific models that serve the needs of specific communities. The organization shows that this approach not only outperforms current models from Big Tech corporations in applications like machine translation and automatic speech recognition, but also serves to distribute power across the world in the hands of grassroots organizations. Instead of envisioning a future where technology is used to plunder resources, colonize the cosmos and disenfranchise cultural workers, DAIR urges technologists to use their skills to address the needs of communities that are often harmed by the race to build monopolies.

Timnit Gebru.Speaker Bio: Timnit Gebru is the founder and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR). Prior to that she served as co-lead of the Ethical AI research team at Google. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University, and did postdoctoral work at Microsoft Research in New York City in the Fairness Accountability Transparency and Ethics (FATE) in AI group, where she studied algorithmic bias and the ethical implications underlying projects aiming to gain insights from data. Gebru also co-founded Black in AI, a nonprofit that works to increase the presence, inclusion, visibility and health of Black people in the field of AI, and she serves on the board of AddisCoder, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching algorithms and computer programming to Ethiopian high school students, free of charge.

About the Talk: Co-hosted with the UC Berkeley College of Computing, Data Science, and Society and the UC Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab.

About the Series: CITRIS Research Exchange delivers fresh perspectives on information technology and society from distinguished academic, industry and civic leaders. Free and open to the public, these seminars feature leading voices on societal-scale research issues. Presentations take place on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. PT. Have an idea for a great talk? Please feel free to suggest potential speakers for our series.

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