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Congressional Black Caucus Tech 2020 Discusses The Impact of Artificial Intelligence

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Washington, July 16, 2019 | comments

Last Week, CBC TECH2020 joined by the Information Technology Industry Council, presented a discussion on how artificial intelligence is shaping the future and the impact of artificial intelligence on our work, lives, security, politics and more. The discussion identified the term “artificial intelligence” or “AI” and conversations taking place around it as it relates to policy, workforce, and use.

A key component of the conversation covered the potential benefits and challenges of AI. Panelists discussed AI’s impact on jobs, how organizations are promoting responsible use and development of AI, and ways in which to train the workforce of the future. Co-Chairs of the CBC Diversity Task Force, Reps. Butterfield, Lee and panelists released the following statement:

Congressman G.K. Butterfield, Co-Chair, CBC Diversity Task Force:

“Artificial Intelligence is and will be a core component touching nearly every aspect of our lives. It is imperative that our American workforce is ready for the jobs of the future and for Congress to be prepared for policy needs and protections. I am excited about the access and opportunities that AI stands to provide, and I look forward to tackling the policy issues that come along with great progress such as security protections and promotion of diversity and inclusion. This is a pivotal time that calls for great vision and consistent vigilance.” 

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Co-Chair, CBC Diversity Task Force:

The impact of Artificial Intelligence is one that can affect every component of our lives. As this space continues to grow, we must be mindful in how we interpret the data being selected and used and how it will impact communities of color, because the negative consequences are too severe. CBC TECH2020 will continue to work to ensure that companies create diverse and inclusive environments to help address Algorithmic bias and prevent discrimination as the field of AI continues to advance rapidly.

Tracey Frey, Director of Strategy, Cloud, AI, Google

AI holds tremendous promise to produce positive change for organizations, individuals, and communities of all kinds, but it also raises important questions around its responsible use and deployment.  This is why CBC TECH2020's leadership in convening a conversation on the societal and ethical implications of AI is so essential.  We look forward to continuing these conversations in partnership with CBC and other stakeholders to ensure we're building AI in a way that works for everyone.

Anke Conzelmann, Director Product Management, Iron Mountain

At Iron Mountain, we have a unique approach to machine learning. Our InSight platform allows businesses in all sectors to automatically classify and access and extract value from both physical and digital content more efficiently. It was an honor to participate in the CBC Tech2020 briefing and present our perspective on not only the value that can be derived from ML/AI but the unique responsibilities associated with the successful use of ML/AI .

Dominic Delmolino, Chief Technology Officer, Accenture Federal Services

Accenture Federal Services was honored to participate in the CBC TECH2020 panel discussing the impact of artificial intelligence on our work, lives and security. The panel discussion was excellent covering a wide range of topics about artificial intelligence technology and its uses today. CBC TECH2020 provides an important role in facilitating this level of knowledge sharing that advances understanding throughout society, resulting in productive and inclusive solutions that work for all of us.

Dominique Harrison, Ph.D, Project Director, The Aspen Institute

“The future of Artificial Intelligence presents many benefits for businesses, local government and in healthcare. Yet, we have to be critical of the impact of these technologies on communities of color. Research has shown that the data and algorithms used by these technologies can have discriminatory results in the advertisement of housing, employment and predictive policing. CBC Tech2020 provides the opportunity to have these important conversations and the platform to discuss policies that can provide solutions to these inequities.”

John Miller, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Information Technology Industry Council

We thank the CBC Tech2020 Working Group for hosting this critical discussion about artificial intelligence. While the potential benefits of AI are enormous, it is impossible to fully predict its future impact. Working with lawmakers and community leaders, and by engaging in conversations like this one, our industry is committed to making sure AI is built and applied for the benefit of everyone.

Dr. Rashawn Ray, Rubenstein Brookings Institute Fellow and Executive Director, Lab for Applied Social Science Research at the University of Maryland

“We must be conscious about how technology is developed. Algorithmic bias has led to machine learning algorithms misclassifying minority groups, discriminating against innocent people, and restricting social and economic opportunities. The Lab for Applied Social Science Research has developed corporate and government partnerships to more thoughtfully develop, implement, and evaluate state-of-art virtual reality programs to improve police decision-making, reduce cyberbullying in schools and workplace discrimination, and enhance job training for incarcerated people.”


In May 2015, the Congressional Black Caucus launched CBC TECH2020 to bring together the best minds in the tech, non-profit, education andpublic sectors to chart a path forward to increase African American inclusion at all levels of the technology industry.  The lack of African American representation in tech means that many of our best and brightest – the problem solvers, critical thinkers, and those that challenge conventional thinking – are not included, and America’s global competitiveness suffers as a result.  From pushing on back on user exploitation on social media platforms, board diversity and c-suite diversity, calling for accountability in advertising principles and practices, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been leading the effort to ensure key principles for an inclusive tech economy are set forward.

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