Joy Buolamwini's research explores the intersection of social impact, technology and inclusion.

Why you should listen

Dr. Joy Buolamwini is the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, a groundbreaking MIT researcher, a model and an artist. She is the author of national bestseller Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines and advises world leaders on preventing AI harms. Her MIT thesis methodology uncovered large racial and gender bias in AI services from companies like Microsoft, IBM and Amazon. Her research has been covered in more than 40 countries, and she has championed the need for algorithmic justice at the World Economic Forum and the United Nations. Her research on facial recognition technologies transformed the field of AI auditing.

Buolamwini lends her expertise to congressional hearings and government agencies seeking to enact equitable and accountable AI policy. As the Poet of Code, she creates art to illuminate the impact of AI on society. Her writing has been featured in publications like TIME, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review and The Atlantic. Her work as a spokesmodel has been featured in Vogue, Allure, Harper's Bazaar and People Magazine. She is the protagonist of the Emmy-nominated documentary Coded Bias which is available to more than 100 million viewers. In her quest to tell stories that make daughters of diasporas dream and sons of privilege pause, her spoken word visual audit "AI, Ain't I A Woman?" — which shows AI failures on the faces of iconic women like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Serena Williams — as well as the Coded Gaze short have been part of exhibitions ranging from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to the Barbican Centre, UK.

Buolamwini is the first Black researcher to grace the cover of Fast Company, appearing in the 2020 “Most Creative People” issue, and has been named to notable lists including Forbes 30 Under 30, Bloomberg50, Time Next 100 and MIT Tech Review 35 Under 25. She is the recipient of notable awards including the Rhodes Scholarship, the Fulbright Fellowship, the inaugural Morals and Machines Prize as well as the Technological Innovation Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. She was selected as a 2022 Young Global Leader, one of the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 40 as determined by The World Economic Forum. Fortune named her the "conscience of the AI revolution." She earned her PhD from MIT and was awarded an honorary degree from Knox College. She enjoys drawing and drumming in her free time.

Joy Buolamwini’s TED talk