Timnit Gebru

Speaker, Timnit Grebru
Postdoctoral Researcher, Microsoft Research
  • Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Fellow, Stanford University
  • Co-Founder, Black in AI 

You could almost say that engineering is the Gebru family business: Timnit’s father was an electrical engineer and her two sisters are currently electrical engineers.

The AI researcher

With Artificial Intelligence on the cusp of assuming a significant role in modern life, Timnit Gebru’s work in the field is becoming increasingly important. A postdoctoral researcher in Microsoft’s Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics in AI (FATE) group in New York, Timnit studies the implications and applications of AI. Namely, how AI impacts society, how it might do so in the future, and how we can avoid making AI yet another technology that benefits some but not all. While her mission is multifaceted, its core goals are simple: fairness, accessibility and inclusion. Timnit’s work is focused on improving technology’s ability to do social good, which starts by analyzing its capability to do the opposite. Her work examining algorithmic bias showcases AI’s capacity to negatively affect people by simply misclassifying them. For example, by analyzing how facial recognition AI misidentified dark-skinned women, Timnit helped expose a specific bias that might not have occurred if the machine learning community was itself more diverse. A tireless advocate for diversity in the field, Timnit co-created Black in AI in response to issues like this and more.
“AI researchers should not be silent regarding the repercussions of their work.”
Timnit to Forbes
  • Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Fellow, Stanford University
  • Co-Founder, Black in AI 

You could almost say that engineering is the Gebru family business: Timnit’s father was an electrical engineer and her two sisters are currently electrical engineers.