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Programmed discrimination!?

Einstein Center Digital Future, Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Weizenbaum-Institut | Helena Mihaljevic, Bianca Herlo, Sarah Ciston, Sana Ahmad

The (Un)Fair Game in the Use of Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence

The Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF), the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society (WI), and the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) invite you to a film screening followed by a panel discussion as part of the 2022 Berlin Science Week on 2 November 2022.

The evening will start with a screening of the award-winning and widely acclaimed documentary “Coded Bias” by filmmaker and activist Shalini Kantayya. The film follows the research and activism of computer scientist Joy Buolamwini who uncovered that some algorithms are unable to recognize the faces of People of Color and that programs are only as free of bias as the data they are fed. As a result, Buolamwini, along with other scholars, introduced the first legislative initiative in the U.S. to address biases in algorithms.

The subsequent panel discussion moderated by Marie Kaiser (radioeins) will provide scientific context: Prof. Dr. Helena Mihaljevic (ECDF), Sarah Ciston (HIIG), Sana Ahmad (WI) and Dr. Bianca Herlo (WI) will discuss (potentially) discriminatory algorithms and other dangers of digital technologies.


This is an in-person event. If you would like to attend, please register here.

About the Venue
Filmkunst 66
Bleibtreustraße 12
Berlin, Berlin 10623 Germany

Helena Mihaljevic

Einstein Center Digital Future

Prof. Dr. Helena Mihaljević has been Professor of Data Science and Analytics at the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) and the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (HTW) since 2018. The mathematician brings diverse practical experience from several years working as a Data Scientist in the private sector to the university. In her professorship, she is dedicated to applied research in statistical data analysis, data mining, machine learning and natural language processing, among others, as well as the increasingly important transparency of algorithmic methods. She is particularly interested in the use of data analytics for topics of social relevance, such as the study of the gender gap in different sciences and regions. (Photo credit: Lotte Ostermann)

Bianca Herlo

Weizenbaum Institut

Dr. Bianca Herlo is a researcher and lecturer based in Berlin and postdoc at the Design Research Lab. Over the last years, she has been working – through practice-based research projects – on participatory design methods, transdisciplinary and collaborative settings and on the conceptualization of socially oriented living labs, at the intersection of the three dimensions local actors, urban narratives and transformative tools. Until 2019. she has been head of the research group Civic Infrastructures, where she experimented with design’s agencies at the intersection of bottom up processes, public institutions and formalized politics. Bianca studied communication in social and economic contexts and experimental media design, at the Berlin University of the Arts. Since 2013, Bianca has been a lecturer in design and design theory at various universities, including the Design Department at Anhalt University Dessau, the Berlin UdK and Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin. (Photo credit: David Gauffin)

Sarah Ciston

Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft

Sarah Ciston builds critical–creative tools to bring intersectional approaches to machine learning. They are an Associated Researcher at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, an AI Fellow at the Akademie der Künste, and a PhD Candidate in Media Arts and Practice at the University of Southern California. Sarah’s projects include authoring “A Critical Field Guide to Working with Machine Learning Datasets,” from the Knowing Machines research project, and “ladymouth,” a bot that tries to explain feminism to online misogynists. They lead Creative Code Collective, a community for co-learning programming using approachable, interdisciplinary strategies. (Photo credit: ZK/U 2022)

Sana Ahmad


Sana Ahmad is a doctoral candidate at the Freie Universität Berlin and currently works as a research fellow with the research group ‘Work in Highly Automated, Digital-Hybrid Processes’ at the Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin, associated with the ‘Globalization, Work, and Production’ unit at the Berlin Social Science Center. Her interdisciplinary research project looks at the global content moderation value chains and labor processes in India. Sana is from India and has been living in Berlin for the last few years.

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