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The work of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini, along with that of data scientists, mathematicians and watchdog groups from different parts of the world, will be featured in 'Coded Bias.'

After a local screening and panel discussion last week, PBS' "Independent Lens" debuts "Uncoded Bias" at 9 p.m. Monday on WLPB, Channel 27 (cable Channel 12).

The 90-minute show "follows MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini, along with data scientists, mathematicians and watchdog groups from different parts of the world, as they fight to expose the discrimination within the facial recognition algorithms now prevalent across all spheres of daily life," according to PBS. 

Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the Southern University Law Center presented a virtual preview screening of "Coded Bias," from award-winning filmmaker Shalini Kantayya, on March 15.

Afterward, panelists who discussed the film and the implications of facial recognition technology included: Angela A. Allen-Bell, associate professor, B. K. Agnihotri endowed professor, Southern University Law Center; Kelly G. Carmena, criminal Clinic supervising attorney, Southern University Law Center; and Alanah Odoms, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. Dr. Robyn Merrick, vice president of external affairs for the Southern University System, moderated the virtual event.

"Buolamwini’s startling discovery that the algorithm for facial recognition technology could not detect dark-skinned faces or women with accuracy led to her realization that the very machines learning algorithms intended to avoid prejudice are only as unbiased as the humans and historical data programming them," a PBS news release says.

“It’s my hope that the film pushes audiences toward a greater awareness about how these disruptive technologies impact issues of equality and equity and that it in turn encourages more people to speak up and hold the companies behind them accountable,” filmmaker Kantayya said.