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RISE Keynote Speaker Discusses AI

The Research and Innovation Symposium and Exhibition for Undergraduate and Graduate Students (RISE) was held this month. The theme of this year's showcase was "Converging Paths to Shape Our Future" with keynote speaker Dr. Nicol Turner Lee, who is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation, and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of the TechTank blog and podcast at the Brookings Institution, which is a global think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. 

With a background in sociology, and researching the intersectionality of race, technology, and social justice, Dr. Turner Lee’s presentation discussed artificial intelligence (AI), research, and HBCU's. She outlined the pros and cons of AI and the harm it can have on minority communities. Whether giving discriminatory responses to asked prompts to denied employment, judicial system utilization, or false facial recognition, Dr. Turner Lee believes everyone needs to know of this resource as its usage continues to rise. “For the black community, we must engage in a public literacy campaign on AI. Specifically, how these technologies are coming into our everyday lives and how they can be weaponized against us,” says Dr. Turner Lee. 

Because of these realities, she emphasized the importance of HBCU students entering technological spaces to diversify the industry. She stated, “AI is flawed because society is flawed. That is because the people who are designing it, do not look like us.”