Artificial Intelligence for Social Impact and Equity Series

Since 2018, the AI for Social Impact series has hosted talks from leading thinkers on the impact of artificial intelligence on society. This year, we are centering the question of equity – and how artificial intelligence and the algorithms around us are making our society more or less fair and prosperous. Join us at this series of remote conversations, the highlights of which are summarized in the accompanying blog series on Medium, about how we can harness AI for the greatest positive social impact.

Curated by Colleen Chien (@colleen_chien) (Professor of Law) and Irina Raicu (@IEthics) (Director of the Internet Ethics Program for the Markkula Center). All events cosponsored by the High Tech Law Institute and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Fall 2020 Events

Facial Recognition and Equity
September 24, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Matt Cagle

Matt Cagle, Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney, ACLU

The recent ascendance of authoritarian and populous politics has made the spread of advanced facial recognition technology more salient and disconcerting than ever. Unfettered deployment of this technology has particularly significant implications for privacy rights, free association, and even freedom of movement. Join us for a discussion with Matt Cagle, an expert technology and civil liberties attorney with the ACLU, on the latest developments of facial recognition technology and efforts to address them through law and policy.


Content Policy and Enforcement: People, Policy and Product
October 8, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Neil Potts

Neil Potts, Public Policy Director, Trust & Safety Policy at Facebook

The dominant role of social media platforms in modern political discourse has brought to the forefront long-simmering disputes about the role that such platforms should play (if any) in the regulation and facilitation of our national dialogue. Join Neil Potts, Public Policy Director at Facebook, for an in-depth look at content moderation and enforcement within the largest social media platform in the world. Pott’s responsibilities include oversight of Facebook’s Trust and Safety Policy Team, which works on a variety of issues including counterterrorism, cybersecurity, civic integrity, and human rights; he previously led the development and implementation of Facebook’s Community Standards.


AI and Hiring: Automating Second Chances
October 15, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Colleen Chien Eli Edwards Navid Shaghagi William Sundstrom
Colleen Chien Eli Edwards Navid Shaghaghi William Sundstrom

In an era of economic hardship brought about by a once-in-a-century pandemic, the need for an equal opportunity to pursue a living wage has never been more pressing. Yet for many of the 80 million people, or 1 in 3 adults, that live with a criminal record – including those that have only been accused, but never convicted of a crime – job, housing, and other opportunities are often more limited. Ban-the-Box, fair chance, and expungement policies aim to give those with records a true second chance. But while expunging one’s record, which seals from the public record of qualifying records, the research suggests, leads to positive economic outcomes, research by Colleen Chien (Professor of Law) suggests that millions of Americans haven’t received the expungements they qualify for, placing them in the second chance gap, the difference between eligibility and receipt of one’s second chance. To close the gap, and release the millions of Americans trapped in a paper prison long after they have served their time, Chien is leading the Paper Prisons initiative – a team of data scientists, lawyers, social scientists and students – to document the extent of the second chance gap in records expungement and to conduct research about how to ameliorate the impact of criminal records on economic and dignitary outcomes. Join Chien and members of the initiative as they discuss their work, the use of algorithms to automate second chances, the challenge of statistical discrimination, and the impact of criminal records on hiring. Members of the Paper Prisons initiative, including Bill Sundstrom (Professor of Economics), Eli Edwards (Emerging Technologies Research Librarian), Navid Shaghaghi (Lecturer of Mathematics and Engineering), Ellen Kreitzberg (Professor of Law), Charles Duggan JD ’19, Evan Hastings JD ’19, Hithesh Bithala MSBA ’21, Jerry Huang Masters CS ’21, and Alexandra George Poli Sci BA ’21 will join Chien to talk about their work.


AI for Good (Trouble)
October 29, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Mutale Nkonde

Mutale Nkonde, Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab

What role does artificial intelligence play in the resurgent fight against discrimination in the American criminal justice system? How can it be harnessed to enable a new generation of reformers to bring about true, lasting change? Join Mutale Nkonde, Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab, to discuss these questions and the novel applications of artificial intelligence to the oldest American struggle. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Colleen Chien (Law) and Alexandra Sepolen JD ’21 and Morgan Willis JD ’21 of the Black Law Student Association.


Election Interference 2020
November 10, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Renée DiResta

Renée DiResta, Stanford Internet Observatory

A retrospective analysis of the efforts to interfere in the 2020 election, as well as of the efforts to prevent and combat the interference – and the use of AI in both – from one of the most prominent researchers of information warfare.


2018 and 2019 Past Events – Artificial Intelligence for Social Impact and Equity Series

Curated by Professor Colleen V. Chien and Irina Raicu


Colleen ChienProfessor Colleen V. Chien
Santa Clara Law

Irina RaicuIrina Raicu
Director, Internet Ethics Program, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University