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Safiya Noble    

AI & Algorithmic Discrimination Expert; Associate Professor at UCLA; Researcher on Race, Gender, Technology & Design

Dr. Safiya U. Noble is the David O. Sears Presidential Endowed Chair of Social Sciences and Professor of Gender Studies, African American Studies, and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is the Director of the Center on Race & Digital Justice and Co-Director of the Minderoo Initiative on Tech & Power at the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2). She currently serves as Interim Director of the UCLA DataX Initiative, leading work in critical data studies for the campus. Professor Noble is the author of the best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic harm in commercial search engines, entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press), which has been widely-reviewed in scholarly and popular publications. In 2021, she was recognized as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow for her ground-breaking work on algorithmic discrimination.

Dr. Noble is a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, serving those vulnerable to online harassment, and provides expertise to a number of civil and human rights organizations. She is a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford where she is a chartering member of the International Panel on the Information Environment. In 2022, she was recognized as the inaugural NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award recipient.

Her academic research focuses on the internet and its impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, power, and technology. She is regularly sought out for her expertise on issues of algorithmic discrimination and technology bias by national and international press including Rolling Stone, The Guardian, the BBC, CNN International, USA Today, Wired, Time, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The New York Times, and a host of network news and podcasts. Her popular writing includes critiques on the loss of public goods to Big Tech companies, as featured in Noema magazine.

Safiya is the co-editor of three edited volumes: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online and Emotions, Technology & Design, and the forthcoming second volume of The Intersectional Internet. She is a member of several academic journal and advisory boards, and holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno where she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2018. In 2020, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award from the iSchool Alumni Association, and is also the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award winner from the Illinois Alumni Association at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award.

In 2021, she founded a non-profit, the Equity Engine, to accelerate investment in companies, education, and networks driven by women of color.

Speech Topics

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

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