Joy Adowaa Buolamwini is a Ghanaian-American-Canadian computer scientist and digital activist based at the MIT Media Lab. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League, an organization that looks to challenge bias in decision-making software. The organization does this by blending art and research to highlight the social implications and harms of AI.
In 2017, Buolamwini was awarded the grand prize in the professional category in the Search for Hidden Figures contest, tied to the release of the film Hidden Figures in December 2016. The contest, sponsored by PepsiCo and 21st Century Fox, was intended to "help uncover the next generation of female leaders in science, technology, engineering and math," and attracted 7,300 submissions from young women across the United States.
Buolamwini delivered a TEDx talk at Beacon Street entitled How I'm fighting bias in algorithms. In 2018 she appeared on TED Radio Hour. She was featured on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls in 2018. Fast Company magazine listed her as one of four "design heroes who are defending democracy online". She was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women in 2018.
In 2019, Buolamwini was listed in Fortune Magazine's 2019 list of the World's Greatest Leaders. The magazine also termed her "the conscience of the A.I. revolution". She also made the inaugural Time 100 Next list in 2019. In 2020, Joy Buolamwini featured in a Levi's woman empowerment campaign for 8 March International Women's Day. She was also featured in the documentary Coded Bias.
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