Deborah Raji
Photo courtesy Deborah Raji

U of T Engineering alumna Inioluwa Deborah Raji named to MIT Technology Review’s list of Top Innovators Under 35

Engineering Science alumna Inioluwa Deborah Raji has been named to this year’s list of Top Innovators Under 35 by MIT Technology Review. Raji was recognized in the Visionaries category for her research on racial and gender bias in facial recognition services.

As an intern at MIT’s Media Lab, Raji worked under computer scientist Joy Buolamwini to audit commercial facial recognition technologies made by companies such as Microsoft, IBM and Amazon. The audit revealed algorithms with baked-in biases across the three services that led to problems with accuracy.

Misidentifying faces is especially high-stakes if deployed in policing scenarios, where the technology is used to scan faces on cameras against those in criminal databases. Microsoft, IBM and Amazon have all since announced they would halt or restrict sales of their facial recognition software.

Raji is currently a Tech Fellow at the AI Now Institute at New York University, where her study in AI ethics continues.

“I’m at a point where this is where I want to be, this is the area I want to dedicate myself to,” says Raji. “I’m really grateful that this work is visible and seems to be so appreciated by the research community as impactful.”

Read the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering story

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