Encode Justice
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Encode Justice

Introducing the Encode Justice blog

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Encode Justice (https://encodejustice.org) is a global, youth-led coalition working to safeguard civil rights and democracy in the age of artificial intelligence through policy development, legislative advocacy, community organizing, technical workshops, and content creation.

Dangerous algorithms are terrifyingly pervasive. Facial recognition technology has been linked to wrongful arrests and protest surveillance. Predictive policing software has disproportionately targeted communities of color under the guise of evidence-based crime prediction. Automated hiring tools and credit score algorithms have demonstrated significant bias against women. Deepfakes have helped disseminate revenge porn and could distort elections with catastrophic ramifications for democracy. In healthcare, criminal justice, housing, immigration, hiring, employment, financial services, and more AI has the potential to reinforce discrimination if left unchecked; as student organizers committed to building a movement for algorithmic justice, we champion human-centered innovation and governance that works for everyone.

Most recently, we spearheaded a successful campaign against California Proposition 25, which would have expanded the use of algorithms in the state criminal justice system despite a documented history of racial bias. Partnering with grassroots civil rights organizations, we represented the youth voice on the Committee to End Pretrial Racism, sharing our understanding of the unique impact that algorithmic risk assessment has on youth by creating informational videos, organizing a series of town halls and other community forums, text banking, phone banking, and campaigning via social media. California voters rejected the measure by a 13% margin. We’ve now kicked off our Stand Up to Surveillance initiative, advocating for moratoria on police use of facial recognition technology worldwide. We’re especially focused on lobbying for the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2020 at the congressional level, and we’re also pushing for local bans.

Pretrial risk assessment simulation via detainrelease.com.

Encode Justice is expanding its efforts to include a workshop program based on AI ethics curriculum we’ve created to teach students; a policy think tank within our organization entirely focused on drafting legislation related to AI governance; and our Medium publication, featuring contributions from members of our team as well as guest writers. We aim to both spotlight the harms of AI and explore tech-centered solutions to pressing challenges, including gerrymandering, climate change, and gun violence. To keep our efforts going, chip in financially at tinyurl.com/EJFundraiser, apply for our fellowship program at tinyurl.com/EJFellowship, and apply to start a regional chapter at tinyurl.com/EJChapters.

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