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After a flood of stories about the biased, and at times discriminatory, outputs of AI systems, technology companies have sought to frame themselves as sensitive to diversity, equity and inclusion and as creators of responsible and just AI. But are they?

Berkeley Professor Deirdre Mulligan will explore how companies talk about diversity and inclusion in AI ethics work, and assess what those statements suggest about the relationship between AI ethics initiatives and civil rights ideals. She will show that, while companies do discuss diversity and inclusion in ways that are digestible for engineers and tractable in data science work, their commitments tend to drift away from the civil and human rights principles on which they are based. Companies need to put AI ethics more directly in conversation with, and in the service of, civil rights and human rights ideals.

Nuala O’Connor, Chief Counsel for Digital Citizenship at Walmart, will comment on the lecture.

The Program on Data and Governance – a partnership of the Moritz College of Law and the Translational Data Analytics Institute at The Ohio State University – is honored to host Deirdre Mulligan and Nuala O’Connor for its 5th annual Distinguished Lecture.