NEWS13 October 2020

Fellows named for racial justice data projects

AI Data analytics News UK

UK – The Ada Lovelace Institute’s JUST AI network has announced the four awardees of its fellowship, who will explore racial justice by focusing on ethical thinking in data and AI.

magnifiying glass on backgrounds shaded in grey

The awardees will each receive £10,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The fellows were chosen for the "synergies between the projects" and the "capacity this builds for interdisciplinary work", according to the JUST AI network. They are: 

  • Yasmine Boudiaf, whose project proposes a radical ethical data practice framework
  • Sarah Devi Chander, whose project will delineate issues in UK data and AI policy in relation to racial justice
  • Dr Irene Fubara-Manuel, for a project that proposes ethnographic and participatory action research to explore possibilities for decolonial and anti-racist alternatives to migration algorithms
  • Dr Erinma Ochu and Caroline Ward, collectively Squirrel Nation, propose a creative project that will be a re-enactment of the 1956 Dartmouth AI study.

The call for proposals in August received 98 proposals from academic and policy researchers and creative practitioners.

Fellows will be supported to design and deliver a research or creative project between now and April 2021, and will gain affiliation with the Ada Lovelace Institute during the fellowship.

Brittany Smith, member of the commissioning board and policy & ethics researcher at DeepMind, said: "The incoming JUST AI fellows will generate important and timely research, policy and creative work that challenges our assumptions and expands our understanding of what’s possible at the intersection of racial justice and technology."

Alison Powell, director of the JUST AI network, said: "I am humbled by the quality of the people and projects who will be supported through the fellowship. I can’t wait to learn with this community and to build more capacity to address ethical issues including systemic racism in data and AI ethics."