Backstage Blog - 2020 -
Mutale Nkonde is an AI policy analyst and researcher based in New York City.
She started her career as a 2018-19 fellow at Data & Society, a Research Institute in New York City and works at the intersection of race, technology, and policy. Nkonde has been working as a senior tech policy advisor for Congresswoman Yvette Clarke since 2016. She was part of the team that helped introduce the Algorithmic Accountability Act into the House of Representatives in April 2019, and is currently considering a series of data privacy proposals. She is also the founder of the Dorothy Vaughn Tech Symposium, a briefing series that takes place on Capitol Hill. Her work has been covered in MIT Tech Review, WIRED, Venture Crunch, Muse and PBS News Hour, as well as being a co-author of a report on racial literacy and tech, and she speaks widely on race, policy, and AI.
Co-chair Noreen Whysel explains why we extended an invitation to Mutale: “I first met Mutale at the 2019 NYC School of Data conference, where she spoke on a panel on ‘Building Anti-Racist Solidarity Networks in Tech,” discussing her research while serving as a fellow at Data + Society. I was blown away. Her unique perspective on the use of facial recognition technology, particularly in communities of color, counters well-meaning assumptions around improving the design of these systems. At Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, Mutale works at the intersection of race, technology, and policy. She has been speaking at events where she challenges designers to expose underlying assumptions about race to help build more inclusive products and policies. This is a sense-making task that can effect design for good on a global scale.”
Mutale’s areas of interest and expertise closely align with our theme of making-sense. And there’s a connection to the mischief and serious damage that can result from intentional and unintentional information architecture – which we also want to highlight at IAC 20.
In other news we completed our site visit at the Sheraton New Orleans this week and planned the rooms for our keynote talks, breakout sessions, workshops, speakers studio, careers center, karaoke and games night. We couldn’t be happier with the way plans are shaping up.