Session 1: Artificial Intelligence: ‘Objectivity’ in an Unequal Society

The session starts in . . .

About the session

Date: Thursday, 23 May 2019

Time: 18h00-19h30

Venue: ALT Advisory, 20 Baker Street, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196

Entrance is free but seating is limited to 25 participants. Parking is available. Please RSVP to [email protected] .

Overview: In the midst of the 4IR, the social impacts and constitutional implications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are yet to be fully considered. We are told that AI is objective, but how do we ensure this?

This session focuses on the potential for bias in AI, and the dangerous effects that such bias may have on past and present inequality.

About the speakers

Pelonomi Moiloa

Pelonomi Moiloa

Twitter: @tamait_biskit

Pelonomi’s first introduction to the world of AI was as a data science vacation worker, intern and then mentor for the DSIDE (Data science for Impact and Decision Enablement) programme at the CSIR while completing her undergraduate Biomedical and Electrical Engineering degrees. 

Pelonomi has recently returned from Japan where she completed her Masters in Biomedical Engineering with a specific focus on Neural Networks for identifying neurons in neural activity videos. While in Japan, she organized the TEDxTohokuUniversity AI Salon, a bilingual event which aimed to give people with varying degrees of AI familiarity a technical introduction to how AI works in order to enable engaging conversations regarding the implications of AI with a specific focus on bias and ethics. 

Her reintroduction into the South African AI community was through the Deep Learning IndabaX as a member of the opening panel discussion and as a speaker in her talk “Protecting Machines from Us” where she delved into bias and ethics issues specific to Machine learning and within the African context. Practical tools, on personal and production levels to help address these issues were also introduced and discussed. 

Pelonomi is currently a Data Scientist at Nedbank working on machine learning solutions within the Data Services and Data Driven Intelligence team. 

Jessica Breakey

Jessica Breakey

Jessica is an Associate Lecturer in the School for Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand where she teaches the Sociology of Artificial Intelligence. She also works as a researcher for the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) and the Center for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) where she researches potential interventions and support packages for unemployed youth in South Africa.  Jessica holds a Mphil from Cambridge University and an MA from the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER). Jessica is a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, a Chevening Scholar and a Oppenheimer Memorial Trust fellow.   

Chris McConnachie

Chris McConnachie

Chris is an advocate at Thulamela Chambers, Johannesburg.  His work focuses on constitutional law and human rights. Chris completed his doctorate on discrimination law at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.  He previously served as a law clerk at the Constitutional Court.

Brynne Guthrie

Brynne Guthrie

Brynne focuses on constitutional and international law, human rights law, administrative law, refugee law and most recently, the regulation of the internet, communications, and technology. She has a particular interest in the interplay between the internet, constitutionalism, and the facilitation of democratic growth. Brynne is currently a Policy Fellow based at ALT Advisory.

Before taking up the policy fellowship, Brynne clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa (2018) for Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and Acting Justice Patricia Goliath. Brynne was previously a Commonwealth Scholar (2016-17) and has been involved with numerous public interest NGOs and youth-driven social movements.

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