AI, tech and social justice: U of T Groundbreakers EP4

What is the relationship between pollution and colonialism in Canada? How can AI and related technologies avoid perpetuating racism and gender bias?

These are some of the questions explored in episode four of the Groundbreakers video series when host Ainka Jess speaks with researchers from two of the University of Toronto’s Institutional Strategic Initiatives: the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society and the Black Research Network.

U of T Mississauga’s Kristen Bos, an assistant professor of Indigenous science and technology and the co-director of the Technoscience Research Unit, talks about The Land and Refinery project, while U of T Engineering alumna Deborah Raji discusses how bias in AI algorithms can perpetuate racism and gender bias and erode civil rights – and how access to technology can further inclusive excellence.

“As an Indigenous feminist and researcher, I know that the health of our lands is vital to the health of our bodies,” Bos says. “I feel like I have a responsibility. I think we all have a responsibility to hold the industries, the companies and the governments responsible for the creation of pollution and health harms.”

Groundbreakers is a multimedia series that includes articles at U of T News and features research leaders involved with U of T’s Institutional Strategic Initiatives, whose work will transform lives.