CS to Go
Code Savvy Connections
Our newsletters highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and want to help bring attention to their work.
This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration Theme: Black History Month
Black History! This week’s focus is “Current Change Makers”
For the next several weeks, we will shine our spotlight specifically on Black History. We recognize that history is a topic that is largely whitewashed and only told from the perspective of people in power to further certain ideas. Black History Month is an important reminder that there are large parts of history that generally go untold in schools and society, and that should be shared all year long. For the next several weeks, Code Savvy will be focusing on a different aspect of Black History and making connections through stories, experiences, and achievements to computer science.
This week, we want to highlight a current Change Maker. Black History can often be thought of as “long ago” or “way back when,” however we want to also highlight that history is being made today. New technologies are emerging at an ever-increasing rate, and with them arise new challenges to overcome.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one emerging technology that is causing some controversy in how it is used. AI can have many benefits such as in the medical industry being able to help predict heart attacks and strokes in patients. AI still needs to be programmed by humans, and bias within the algorithms used could lead to unintended consequences.
Joy Buolamwini calls herself a “Poet of Code,” and has devoted much of her work to fighting algorithmic bias. Joy serves on the Global Tech Panel, which aims to inform world leaders and technology leaders on the potential harms of AI and ways to reduce them. She has done work with AI used for facial recognition technology, finding that this technology can often be inaccurate based on skin tone, or even the inability to read faces all together. Joy shared a TED Talk around how she is fighting bias in algorithms, including facial recognition.
Joy Buolamwini is just one example of the countless current change makers in Black History. As we focus on, explore, and teach Black History let’s not forget that history is continuing to be written and actions today will have powerful impacts on our future.
If you are interested in learning more about AI, there are many ways to explore further on your own. Code.org has projects you can explore to learn more about how AI and facial recognition technology work. Check it out this week, and be sure to share your projects!
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