Elizabeth Adams: The Path to Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology in Minneapolis
Good morning everyone. And welcome, to the, stanford. University, human center artificial, intelligence, weekly seminar. I'm lucy bernholtz, the director of the digital civil society, lab at stanford, and i'm delighted to be hosting, this conversation. Before we get started i want to, remind, everyone, that you can join the conversation. By going to the, hai. Event, website. And click on the big link that says join the conversation. In order to submit a question. For elizabeth. So, uh without further ado, let me get us started, um, let me i'm going to begin by introducing, elizabeth. She will, do her presentation, and we'll have plenty of time for questions. Uh toward the end of the hour so elizabeth, adams. Is a non-resident. Fellow, at the digital civil society, lab, and the center for comparative, studies in race and ethnicity, at stanford. Elizabeth, is a technology. Integrator. Who works at the intersection, of cyber security. Ai ethics, and ai, governance. Focus, specifically. On ethical, tech design. She, impacts the world around her every day by serving as a member of the ieee. Global, initiative, on ethics, of autonomous, and intelligent, systems. Helping to build global standards, for ai, nudging, and emotion, ai. And as an appointed, member of the racial, equity. Community, advisory. Committee. For the city of minneapolis. Influencing, the local civic tech and tech design, racial, equity conversation. And framework. Elizabeth, i'm delighted, to be here i'm looking forward to the presentation. Take us away. Thank you, thank you can you guys hear me. Yep. And can you see my powerpoint. Yes. All right so thank you so much lucy, i am so honored to be here, with everyone, um with you and everyone who took the time to join us today. I want to thank the institute, for human centered ai, the digital, civil society, and the center, for comparative, studies, in race and ethnicity. As lucy mentioned i'm elizabeth, adams i currently reside, and work in the minneapolis. Area. When i was invited to share the work of my fellowship, project, i thought long and hard about what i wanted to share and how best i could convey, this work. And there was no way i could just talk about the activities. And the meetings, and the progress, and the checklist. Without, having, a human-centered. Discussion, around the background. Of why this work is so important, to me and how i've been influenced, by my own family. So for me. The best way to humanize, ai, is to first humanize, the conversation, and i love this quote by brian bracking because it's the basis for the work that i do in ai ai ethics and, tech transparency. And after spending, a couple of years, talking with data scientists, and engineers. And, a ton of folks around algorithmic, bias, i learned that many scientists. And architects, and even those who are teaching, code, simply do are not aware, of the stories, of those who are impact. By biased. Technology. They're not aware of the generations, of leaders whose stories have still yet to be told. And those who have been on the front lines advocating, for vulnerable populations.
And Communities, of color, whose story should be preserved. And told truthfully. This is why i added. The best way to humanize, a conversation. Is for us to tell our stories. I curated, this presentation, to represent, two, main themes, legacy, and leadership. And modern day, and for this portion i will cover four generations. Of black leaders in my family here in minnesota. Who have worked on behalf, of vulnerable, populations. And their community, advocating, for real racial equity, equality. And while facing barriers, of their own, but my family's, story, is just one of millions, of other stories. Where black americans, have bravely, led through some of the most trying times in our country's, history. So let's get started. This, is my great great grandfather. William godette. In 1885. He became the first black firefighter. In. Minnesota. During that time, as a community, leader, there was a man named fred mcgee, he convinced, the mayor of saint paul to hire black firefighters. My great grandfather. Served for two years, as the only, black firefighter. Enduring, many, racial, hardships. It wasn't until 1887. That additional, black firefighters. Were hired. My gran, my great great grandfather, rose to the ranks and was put in charge, of two black fire houses. He retired, a captain. In, 1926. After having served 41, years. He led during times of great discrimination. And bias. The men were required, to serve and fight fires in many areas of the city, where they were not welcomed. Or wanted. And as a way to recognize, my grandfather's. Leadership. My great great grandfather's, leadership. His endurance, and bravery. The saint paul fire department. Has named their headquarter, after, my great great grandfather, william gill dead and his brother. Alfred. Uh who was. Excuse me killed in the line of duty, and we as a family are very proud to have documented. These records, of their achievements. And their pioneering. Leadership, efforts. William go dead had three children, and my great-grandmother. Nora. Was influenced, by her father's, work and like many black americans, at that time william, william godette worked very hard to be a pillar in the community. All while working in an environment, where he faced harsh racism, discrimination. Exclusion. And prejudice. Yet he wanted his family to realize the american, dream, he wanted his family to participate. In as meaningful. Activities, as possible. He was admit. That we as black folks if anything. Um, help pave the way for others and help erase the stigma, that black folks, weren't capable, educated, or couldn't be contributing, members of society. One particular, example, of his resolve, for inclusion, happened in 1916. When he and my great-grandmother. Entered a dog competition, at the minnesota, state fair. These records, are from the final, state fair, report, in 1916. And show, that william, and nora, took second and third place, in the chesapeake, bay dog competition.
As Mentioned. My great-grandmother. Was influenced, by my great-great-grandfather. And was involved, in and sought to serve with the women in the community. And continue, to build a life for herself and her family. She married my great-grandfather. Fred mccracken, in 1910. And my grandmother, was born in 1912. Rebecca. My great great my great grandfather, excuse me there's so much to cover in my legacy and i'm so proud of that. My great-grandfather. Fred mccracken, arrived, in saint paul in the 1900s. He became, a pillar. Of the community. Almost, instantly. He is listed, over 50 times in various, newspapers. From, 1909. To 1950. For a number of courageous, leadership, roles. As you can see. He has done a number of. Excellent, opportunities. He has done a number of excellent leadership. From 1909. To, 1925.. Once he left the dc area. After, serving, as a private secretary, he became really involved, in saint paul helping to eliminate. And eradicate. Racism. He was extremely. Vocal, and he was engaged, and skillful, in speaking the truth to elected officials. While at the same time using his influence, to create opportunities. For other community, leaders. He believed, he had a calling, to help the black community, organize. And he did so. Fred mccracken. Was a founding, member of the sterling, club in st paul minnesota. Which was incorporated. In 1919. And he was elected, president. In, 1925.. Due to discrimination. There were few places, black people could go to entertain, and socialize. But this was more than a social club, as the members created, a haven, from racial and economic discrimination. And worked, to solicit, camaraderie. Within the african-american. Community. My grandfather. Hayward, tucson, and my grandmother. Rebecca mccrack, in tucson. Were members, for years. And my grandmother, was a part of the woman's, auxiliary. Group. During the great depression. In world war, world war, ii, the women created, cabaret, style events to help earn, extra income, to keep, the clubhouse, afloat. Club members had, influence, with legislators. In minnesota, as well, they often met with them to discuss, equal rights. And in 1943. The minnesota. Senate passed equal rights legislation. Bearing, discrimination. Based on religion. And national, origin. The sterling, club's, influence, was a huge region, reason, for the passing, of this bill. Throughout, the 40s, and the 50s, the woman's, role remained. Pivotal, to the community, creating, opportunities. To sharing parenting. For, for sharing parenting, tasks. And taking turns, watching each other's children, so that everyone, in the community. Could. Participate. This brings me to my father. And my mother. My father was born. In a small town in mississippi. His name was james adams. And when he was a young man there were many weeks he worked as a young man in mississippi, for free. Or he would receive, a quarter, at the end of the week. He and his brothers, would pool their earnings, to help the family buy food and other essentials. He entered the military. And to escape, racism, and to have a chance at life and he is a korean, war veteran. He and his five brothers, all served in the army, and just like the generation, before. He endured. Great discrimination. On home soil. Interestingly. Enough he shared how much he loved, germany. He said the people were very friendly. He retired, from the st paul city public works. Where he helped start the union. And my parents, were married in 1956. My mother was instrumental, in the community, she was influenced, by the stories, my father shared of his life in mississippi. As well as the stories from her own, family. She ran a newspaper, from our home and she wanted to give business, owners an opportunity, to advertise.
In A paper closer to home, the larger, st paul, newspaper, cost more for advertising. And being city wide, most subscribers. At the time would not be coming in to the predominantly. Black community, to shop. She also wanted to share news from our community, she was extremely. Vocal. Extremely, vocal activist, and she wanted to be on the front lines of change. And as a mother of seven children, six boys and one girl. And a wife she found a way to be present. For all as well as her community. My mother ran for senate, for the state. Representative. And she lost. But it didn't stop her from pursuing, other important, goals. My mother had a dream, of building a recreation, center for the children. In the neighborhood. She would go to the mayor's office every day and tell them tell him, our children, need a place to play. She connected, with the north central voters league to help. For help a local effort emerged, in st paul of grassroots. Activism, primarily, from the working class backgrounds. And as a volunteer, organization. It involved itself in voter. Registration. Campaigns. And also confronting. City elected officials, over their responsibilities. To its residents. They were a big help, to my mother, and while it took years for her to finally, meet her goal. Here i am breaking, ground. Of the oxford, community, recreation. Center with the saint paul mayor at the time mayor brian. This was the first. Urban renewal, project, of its kind and demonstrated. A great civic and community, partnership. Elected officials, working together, with community. To deliver, services. Based on community, input. My mother was killed in an auto, accident. When i was six years old. She left seven children behind, me and my six brothers, and my father, worked three jobs. To take care of us and he modeled. A true measure, of a man, he was a leader in our. Home. I'm very proud of this picture of four, generations. Of women, who have led in their own generation. A number of community, organizing. Um. Activities. My grandfather, took an interest in me, after my mother died and began to involve me in social activities, such as political, fundraisers.
Here I am with one, at one with vice president hubert humphrey and his wife muriel. And yes my grandfather, was adamant that i participate. In girl scouts and then i learned to play the piano, and ten and attend fundraisers. He also wanted me to be aware. That as a young. Black, girl. That if i ever wanted to have a chance in life that i needed to, participate. In certain events. He used me to some degree to push for inclusion, in a number of circles. And as i learned from other relatives, he wanted to, change the narrative. For how people viewed black people, he wanted us to be seen in a positive, light. I want to pause, here, for a quick quick reflection. And honor, the lives of those who have come before us and all of our families. There are many unsung. Unknown, heroes who have dedicated, their lives, in a large. And small way. To bring about fair and equitable, outcomes, for all their sacrifice, and resolve, to want more for their communities, must be told. And my hope is that ai will find a way to preserve these stories, intact. With the proper, narratives. Of black americans. Black minnesotans. Who have for centuries. Tried to find a way to enjoy, life. And help their communities, thrive. And what i hope you took away from the legacy. And leadership, section, is that stories, matter. Stories, help us influence, our path, and our way in life and our decisions, as well. And as we move into modern, day, remember this about black minnesotans. We have end black americans. We have always, had to vacillate. Between enjoying, life through social clubs. Churches. Trips to the lake, wanting, to. Participate. With our family, in a number of ways. To living in a parallel, reality. Of fighting for justice, equality, equity, at every stage. And every generation. So here's the part where i tell you a little bit about my, technology. Background we're moving to modern day and thank you for. Um. Allowing me to share that part of legacy, legacy, and leadership. Um as, lucy mentioned i'm a technologist, so i've been in technology, for about 20 years and i've spent most of my leadership career in the washington, dc, area leading, a number, of. Large initiatives, for fortune 500, companies, i also spent time running a systems integration, lab for the department of defense. Leading a team, of 200, technologists. Including software developers. Engineers, architects. Modeling, and simulation, scientists, as well as statisticians. I returned back to minnesota. In. 2018. Woefully, unprepared. For the huge racial disparity. Disparities. In employment, education. Housing, and the legal system. And, quite honestly. Um, the level of disregard. For black voices. And black opinions. It, felt, like in many ways the needs of black people were invisible. And this was not the same city that i left, in 1997. So as a technologist. With my eye on the future i wanted to help. So i sought a way to get. Involved. And the way that i chose to get involved was through the city's racial equity, community, advisory.
Committee, And prior to my arrival back to minnesota. The minneapolis, city council. Adopted. The racial, equity, community, framework. And created. A division, of race, and equity, and also, in 2017. At the end they adopted, and created the racial equity community, advisory, board. I was appointed. In may of 2019. And on my application, i'd, indicated, a desire. To participate. In this group. By bringing technology. Considerations. For transparency. Into the city's, racial equity, framework. And by the time my fellowship, was awarded, in december, of 2019. I had spent several, months, learning, and observing. And ready to get to work on what this would look like, and working on drafting. Policies. And principles, around transparent. Tech, i was learning, civic tech. So this is, interesting, there's a trend happening on twitter now where people show where they started. And they show where they are, so for me. This is where i started with my fellowship. A vision. For a more transparent. City one that protects, vulnerable populations. And communities. Communities, of color, and over 100 years later black families, and people of color are still working to protect. Vulnerable, populations, and communities, of color. Each generation. Leading in a way. That the current generation. Is called to do and for me. It's technology. So right after fellowship, week this year in 2020. I began to meet with various elected officials. And other committees, to begin this work. And through this recommendation. Or through this work, through the recommendation. Of council member fletcher. He suggested, that i connect with some individuals. Who had a similar, interest. Which i did around march, right around the time that coveted. So in may of 2020. A group of us formed, our coalition. And we met just we've met just about every week, most of us are volunteers. Working on a part-time, basis on an effort that we feel very very, passionate, about, we decided, to call, our coalition, post me, postme, stands for a public oversight, of surveillance, technology. And military, equipment. Post me mn. Is based on, the aclu's. Nationwide. C-cops. Effort, community, control, over. Police surveillance. We wanted to push for. Transparent, technology. And we wanted to build upon the momentum, of the minneapolis's. Data privacy, principles. That were adopted. In february, of 2020. To serve as momentum. And we drafted, our, post-me, ordinances, to be specific, to minneapolis. Based on three things. Feedback. From adjacent, cities who were also pursuing. A measure such as this, to be inclusive, of as many surveillance, technologies. That we knew were being used. And to incorporate, feedback, from council members, city staff appointees. Commissions. And of course the community. Our ordinances. Are a living, document. So why post me. The community, in minneapolis. Is pushing for, more. Police, accountability. Simply put and in minneapolis, growing demands, for, police accountability. Followed. The brutal murder, of george floyd. Postme, will provide minneapolis. Lawmakers. And the public, a meaningful. Way. To understand. And oversee, decisions, about the city's acquisition. And use of surveillance, technologies. By passing, our draft, ordinances, we are asking, for. A productive, conversation. On the front end. Rather than, reacting. To the next headline. And there is little disagreement. With most citizens, in minneapolis. That we want to keep our city safe so we are hoping that minneapolis, will be the next city to adopt transparency. Oversight, and accountability. And equity. In its use of surveillance. Technology. Here are a few. Uh postme, surveillance, technology, examples, that we have included, in our draft, ordinances. Computer, vision which includes. Facial recognition, technology. Gate recognition. As well as license plate readers. And of course location, tracking and one big consideration. I will highlight for gate for location, tracking, is the amazon, ring, camera. There are over a thousand police departments. That have contracts, with amazon, ring, which means they have access, to to more data which can be used for surveillance. Amazon. Is also helping law enforcement. Talk to communities, about opting, in. To give law enforcement, access to this data, and it's one way that law enforcement, can get around getting warrants. But i want to highlight, an additional, consideration. That we have included, in our ordinances. And that is energy consumption, and smart grid surveillance. Through our research, we have learned that there is a growing number of landlords, and other, interested. Persons. Who are requesting. Or desire, to track a renter's, movement, by energy consumption. And we are learning they believe that this data will help them determine. If there are more people living in a particular.
Unit, Than on the lease. This is why we've included this as part of our surveillance. Uh in our ordinances, as well, and here in minneapolis. We are advocating. For a ban on facial recognition, technology, and i'll cover, a little bit more of that in the next slide. So this hi this slide highlights, the timeline, associated, with the civic tech project, an effort where government, and city are working together. To find the solution. For a community, need. And i covered, already, mostly the first and second quarter pieces, but, what happened in third quarter that is significant. Is that council member fletcher. Introduced. Our original, draft, ordinances. With all of those surveillance, considerations. That i mentioned. On july, 17th. It was approved. Unanimously. By the minneapolis, city council to move to committee. And what that meant and means, is, that the ordinances, have made their way through city staff. And we have met with the city attorney, the city clerk. The cio. A number of commissions. A number of appointees. And elected, officials, to begin, to, flush out what does it mean. Understanding, some of the definitions. Around surveillance, what would it mean from a level of effort for the staff. We realized. Through this, that, um. There had been an uptick, in. Crime, in minneapolis. After the george floyd. Murder. And, while we initially. Had a lot of support. By these different groups with the uptick in crime, there now was a little concern, about, moving, so fast. In this space, and so what a decision was made, for us to pull out facial recognition. Technology, considerations. And move that into, a separate ordinance. And on october, 2nd, councilmember, fletcher, introduced. New ordinances. That specifically. Talk about a ban on facial recognition. And we are now moving that to committee. Same process, happens which is we will make it will make its way around. City government, to get an understanding. Of what the definitions. Mean getting, getting buy-in, and agreement. Before. The city it comes back to the city council, for, um, approval, and we are hoping, that those ordinances. Will be adopted. By the, end of this year. So i want to say that, i have been working in partnership. With a number of brilliant. Social, civic leaders, throughout this fellowship. No one can do this work alone, as i mentioned many are volunteers. Working on a part-time, basis. All committed. And concerned. To making sure that our community. Is safe, and i'm honored to be working with the alongside. Of them. We decided, to take our conversation. To, the community, and so we are hosting. A town hall. On the 22nd. We have a couple of national, leaders that have been working in this space at the aclu. Council member fletcher. Is a part of this and will be joining. As well as i and a number of other coalition, partners. As a way for us to help the public, understand. What it means, in minneapolis. For police to be using surveillance, technology. And so that we can continue, this education, process. And finally before i close i just want to highlight. One more slide, and, i want to briefly call your attention to this tech insertion, process that i developed, as part of my fellowship work and research. One of the questions, i kept asking, myself. All year in all of these meetings, and, and working with so many brilliant people and talking with people all over the world is, is this how can technology, be used to help communities, thrive. Specifically. By poc communities. Black indigenous, people of color, communities. And in my days of running a tech insertion, process for the government, i remember the main goal. Of bringing in technology, into our environment. Was to help keep individuals. Safe, if the technology. Does not help keep individuals. Safe, we will not spend time integrating. It, and it cannot be used, in our suite of tools to deliver, technology, solutions. So i developed, this model in a similar. Uh, in a similar, vein. So i developed, it as a litmus, test to really begin to ask the question, does technology. Once it's adopted. Into our community, or even before. Does it help us get to thriving. And if we start at level six and make our way up each one of the groups within level two to five. Are actors, so to speak helping to uncover, and eliminate, racism. And if we can bring technology, into their space to help. To help our communities, thrive, then it's something that we should take um. We should be considered, it up. Um so i'm hoping to explore, this a little further, with coders, and those that are teaching. Um coding so if anyone is interested, please connect with me afterwards, i'd love to have this conversation. With you further. And with that. I'd like to say thank you this is, a lake i live across this lake it's lake bidet makaska. And i hope that you all can see that, the my. Leadership, path to public oversight of surveillance, technology. It did not start with my fellowship, it started generations, ago built upon the experiences.
Of Family members and others who have fought for fair and equitable. Equitable, outcomes. All while trying, to enjoy. This thing called life. Thank you. Thank you elizabeth. What an extraordinary. Story, and, thank you. State of minnesota, has been lucky to have your family. I've got a couple of questions, queued up from the audience and i want to invite. Additional, people. Uh to or people to add additional, questions, you can do that using. The, qr, code or you can go to the submit, questions. Button, on the hai. Event, page, but let's get started. Um. With a with one, um. Well, an observation, and a question for me first of all. Um. I find it really, quite powerful. To go back. Three, four, five, generations. Um, and and situate, this work in that context. And so. I i. Wonder if you could share. Uh for the audience. Your thoughts. On. Um. Recognizing. That, the. The the pursuit of equity, is not just a, there's no short-term, fix. There's no lifetime, fix apparently, there's generational. Work, and so for coders, and. Um, ai, experts, and people thinking about. The tools that they're building. How, how can they actually make that, um. That, that, truth. Practical. To themselves. How do they. Make that part of their their work. Well, you know what lucy that's a great question, and i think, events, like this are helpful, as people begin to learn that there's history, behind, folks that kind of show up to the initial. Conversations. About transparent. Technology. That we have to give ourselves, space, and time to discuss. Those stories. Many times when i show up to an event to talk about why this work is, important. People. Tend to think that i'm showing up based on some recent, event. And they want to start the conversation. There, and what i have found, lucy, is that, if people don't believe, that that recent, event was valid let's just say the murdering, of a black. American. If they think that there was something, else that that person could have done, then we really don't have a basis, for, having, authentic, conversation. That's, that spans. Generations. Because they think i'm showing, up, based on that event and i'm actually not, i'm showing up because i have a lived experience, i've experienced, racism. And, prejudice, and and. Discrimination. So. Part of it is educating, we have to keep, telling, people that there's a larger. Um. Story, here. Generations. People have been trying to do this work for centuries. And, for black americans, we don't get a generation, off i don't know one generation, that has has, gotten a generation. Off, from dealing with this and so it would be helpful. If we could begin to just have truthful, authentic, conversations. And one of the things that we are starting to do at my organization. Thompson reuters, is we were we are, doing something called, 10 000 coffees. And we are taking the labels, off we're not talking about mentors, and vps. And, you know data scientists. We are meeting for half an hour and we are just getting to know each other. And that is so helpful, to understand. Someone's, story. And just having a conversation. Yeah, i think there's something. Um. Extraordinary. Powerful. Um. In. Reminding. White people, in particular. Of. I mean first of all it shouldn't be your work to remind, white people of anything, but for white people. Who are in these positions, to recognize. That this isn't. Uh reactionary. It's proactive. It's, um justice, oriented.
And As you've said it's generational. So that leads me to another. Uh question. Which i think people probably. Realize but i want to call it out very specifically. Because i think. In my experience. Around. Technology. And racial equity. Conversations. There's very much an approach, of. How do we, insert. Racial equity, into technology. And that's not at all what you're talking about here, you were talking about. Bringing, technology. Into, a pursuit of racial equity. Into the conversation. Yeah and that's a, that's a significant. Shift. And, i think it's. About recognizing, different kinds of expertise. It's about recognizing. So. Who's setting the table. If you will and who needs to go to other people's, tables. Not invite, people into. Their. Table. Momentarily. Um. Yeah, just, just thoughts on that yeah, and. And i'll add, lucy, that, um. Obviously, as a black, woman who's a technologist. I've been in many spaces, where i'm the only one. And it has been a constant. To. Constant, challenge, i'll say to figure out the best way to navigate, because one if i am sitting here representing. A community. I don't want to offend someone because i know that there's a larger goal. That we want to get, technology. Advanced we wanted to be able to help communities, thrive. And so i know personally, i've endured, a lot of you know talking, over. Me or people excluding, me from certain tables and i've had to navigate, that space very delicately. Um, and yeah it it, it is a challenge. It is and, it's not an easy one to kind of show up like, just like you know you and i have talked about in january, i you know when we took that walk and i want to say thank you for that because. That gave me a chance to kind of really talk about why this work was so important to me, i if you see this picture on the lake, i participated, in my first regatta, last summer. Over at the lake that's the kind of stuff i want to do, but unfortunately. Even with me wanting to do something like that it was a challenge, i showed up, one day for class, and someone, asked me if i was lost. Not if i needed help. Not if they could help me navigate, how to get a vest, or, to get a radio so that i could take the boat out if i was lost. And so. Those are the kinds of things that you know we're still trying to do work, but we also want to enjoy this thing called life. Exactly, and i think there's really. Some i'm. You know very practical. Um. Uh. Insight. That. Other people, perhaps, on the call can reflect, on particularly. White people particularly, white technologists. About. When, and how do they make themselves. The only one in the room. And what could they learn. From, that. De-centering. And, re-centering. Of a different kind of expertise. Which does bring me to a question, from. The, audience. Um. I think this is on this, topic. Go back to your opening about humanizing. Ai, and telling our stories. And worrying, about the disconnect. Between. Storytelling. And algorithmic. Processing, of, data. Other practical. Or or. Insights, or suggestions, about how do you integrate, them. Or. As we were just describing, sort of, think more about the disconnect. Really give people the space to think about the disconnect, and. Between what they're trying to to do with these two different kinds of was two different sources of wisdom. So i'm not really sure. What the. Question was was it how can we. Do more integrating, of storytelling. How do you integrate. Storytelling, and algorithmic. Processing, and big data, i'll paraphrase, the question. Well. If i were. Queen for the day what i would do when i would talk to professors. Or those who are responsible, for teaching coding or even those who are, coding i would bring in someone to have a conversation, with your coders. And this is what i talk to people about all the time as we're starting to, again, re-energize. Around diversity, and inclusion, efforts. We don't need to build big programs. Around. Around this just bring someone in for a dialogue. And pay them pay them for their, for their expertise, bring someone into your classroom. Bring someone into your organization. Whose life. Work has been this, and just have them do have a dialogue, with someone for a half an hour or even build a process, maybe they come in monthly. Mm-hmm. Yeah, it's not, it's just not that hard. Right, right, but i think i think practically. It it does require. Um. Re-centering. Expertise, there's another question. Here really about. Um, what do you wish technologists.
Were Doing, that they're currently, not doing, and. Um. Some, you know you've made some very clear, answers to that um. Bring in different kinds of expertise. Get out of your own bubble, go figure out what it's like, or experience. That, um. That, that. That. Discomfort. Of being the only person like yourself, in a setting something that in this country. I think is very. Unusual, for a lot of um. Well-educated. White, people with, um technology. Any other, ideas, there, yeah, so i will tell you my evolution, in the civic text started because i started talking with data scientists, and i found that, they were a bit offended. By me just asking questions, like are you sure there's no algorithmic, bias in your mind, model. Have you thought about the second and third, order consequences. Of your tools, getting into, society. And people were really concerned that i was challenging, their ethics. And i thought okay i could spend my time talking to all of these, data scientists. Or then i could start doing learning events which i did which led me to, you know civic tech work, but i would just say let's just have a conversation. Let's. Understand, i mean i started off like i said doing learning events. And to me, i think we need to again, lucy have the conversation. The humanized. Conversation. About, people. And what they bring and what their lived experiences. Are like, and i don't know how to help someone that doesn't look like me i don't know how to make the light bulb go off to say you know what, we don't have the right people. At the table, and um, other than. For, us to continue, having these conversations, and pushing that work out in the spaces, that we're in. Right right. There's a question, here that asks, um, about, looking, for. You mentioned algorithmic, bias. Um. The question is how do you help tech, uncover. Racism. As you mentioned, and i'm i'm wondering. If what your thought on that question is but even is is that the role of technology. I mean isn't uncovering, racism. The job of humans. Well, yeah, but that was part of the reason, why i developed, the tech insertion, process. Was because. I saw an opportunity, so so let's think about it technology, can be used for. Lots of different things it's used to predict. The wind on any given day for a sailboat, whether or not it's safe to go sailing. So i developed, the tech insertion, process just as a quick litmus, test, of whether or not this technology.
Is Helping. Communities. Thrive. And if it's not then we can begin to pack to see, unpack, it to see if there might be some elements. Of. Racism. That we need to uncover. And or, eliminate. And it's really the basis of just having that conversation. Does this, technology. Help a community, thrive. Right, right, great. A couple of questions here specific, to post me, so sort of jumping to the yep. To the, oversight. So. Uh one question, how do the post me ordinances. Relate to existing, city policies. And initiatives, relating, to the use of data and technology, you mentioned, the um, the data privacy. And are they designed to be complementary. Or do they challenge, any of those existing, policies. Well. Let's think about this so we haven't been doing this for very long right just a few months and the data pile, data privacy, policy, principles, were passed in february, by the city council. Before we even got involved and started. As a coalition, started having these meetings, so they were designed to be complementary. But the data privacy, principles. Um, authored, by, uh council member fletcher, was really, to protect, citizens, data and it has language, in there such as minneapolis. Will let you know when we're collecting your data how long we're collecting the data for what are the uses, and and what's happening. With it and we thought that that would be a great, entry, point, to start talking about public oversight, of surveillance. Technology. And so they're meant to be, complementary. Um so i hope that. Answers. The question. And let me go a little bit digger on the a little bit deeper on this. Uh, i just lost the question it had to do with the uh, hold on one second. The police. Um. Traffic, stop, data. And boost me. Should. Um. How is post me thinking about making that data police traffic stop data public, should it be, should the anonymized, data be completely, open. Is a summary, report sufficient. It's a it's a very specific, question in the and the. Questioner, says they're actually working on it in iowa city so you've got. Some allies. And some people to talk to so let's get into the weeds, yes, let's let's, connect i would love for that so, um. We're. Our initial. Conversation. And we're still working through it was really just to have an overarching. Um discussion, around, all the surveillance. Technologies. And so that's where we were starting.
And Once we began, our work with the city of minneapolis. And based on like i said the uptick in crime. We've had to kind of narrow, our focus. And we felt like the thing that we could, handle, right now from a city perspective. The way we could educate, the community, would be around banning, facial recognition. Technology. So we've not gotten, as far and as deep, into. Stop-loss, stopping, um, data, if that, makes sense and i hope from the person in iowa but i would love to connect afterwards. Because we are always looking for partners, in adjacent, cities. To help us understand, what work has been done. Um to help us you know kind of reorganize. Our ordinances, and. You know. As well. Yeah one great to actually use it quite just a thought for me how. How. How many cities, do you know of across the country. That are, working on these issues and talking to each other or is there an opportunity, to help, connect those cities. I think there is an opportunity. To connect, so. The last information, i got i think there were 13, cities, that had adopted. The, c-cops. Aclu. Model, bill and ours is called post me so you have post. New york, and you have some other things and of course you have some things in portland, they've just. Kind of adopted. Um, you know their facial recognition, ban, the most comprehensive. So, there are, and we have done you know free through people in the fellowship, lucy i've connected with people, in new york and, and other, other ways, and other coalition, partners have reached out to folks in st louis and oakland. And seattle. So yes i do think there is an opportunity, and maybe. Stanford, can host a conference. Maybe it would be great for all of us to get together, yeah no absolutely, that's all talk, um a couple more questions you've got questions, flowing in here so i don't want it i love it i'm, so happy about that, um. Could you provide a bit more background, on the, rationale, for a ban on facial recognition, and not just a restriction, to certain uses. Okay, so as opposed to. So the ban okay so yes so for minneapolis. Minneapolis. Is currently, using, clearview, a.i. And through our research, and through information, that is public, knowledge. There are some questionable, things happening with the leadership. Of clearview. A.i. And so that's why we chose specifically, not to. Think about a more moratorium. Moratorium. But just, ban it because we want to if the city is going to adopt facial, recognition. Facial. Recognition, technology. We want an opportunity. To talk with the vendor, understand. You know a little bit more about their, transparency. There are a couple of companies. That might work but we are not there yet. And so we know from minneapolis. That the one that we're using, the one that's, being used um procured, by our by our county, that the city then can use. Um is clearview, ai and we want to ban that. Okay so that leads right to the next question. Um. From someone, saying, uh do you have any examples. Of where. You or, perhaps other municipalities. Are working with companies, building, explainable. Or trustworthy. Ai. And those are capitalized. So that, is, just a note. To incorporate, the impacts of racial bias on communities, from the perspectives, of the stakeholders. Involved. Can you repeat that one more time yep, any examples. Of where, uh cities are working with companies, building. Explainable, or trustworthy. Ai. To incorporate, the impacts of racial bias on communities, from the perspectives. Of stakeholders. That i do not know if there are any cities, that are doing that i know i'm taking that on personally. And as i mentioned, there is, and i won't say the company right now but there's one particular, company that i think has done an amazing, job. Their leadership. Is very very interested, in bringing in the community, perspective. Talking with their engineers, and developers. They have worked very hard to get the um, proper standards. For that and they have, teams that are involved, in, in responsible. Ai, and this is a facial recognition. Company, they have made a decision, not to sell to law enforcement, so, they use it for stadiums. And, for. Organizations. Companies. Um so i don't know if there's a city and if someone else does if they could please let me know because those are again.
The Kind of partnerships. That um you know we want to build upon. Wonderful, great there's actually. A, conference, starting later today, and excuse me i'm going to sneeze just unfortunately. Um. Called the refusal. Refusal, conference. Okay i think we're heading toward this conversation. Right there may be certain, applications, of certain technologies. That if you, are thinking of if if your purpose, is centered, in a racial equity framework. There is no appropriate, use. And, that hasn't been part of the general conversation. But i think. Your examples. And and this these questions are leading us there, yeah and actually lucy i, want to say as an individual, who's been, involved with racial equity work most of my life except in the dc it was more around gender equity and pay equity. Um i want to move away from this conversation. Of racial equity i want just technology. To help communities. Thrive, everyone. And that's, kind of why i'm pushing, for more diverse, perspectives. At the table, i felt like one way to help. The city become more aware of these things was to like i said, be involved, in the racial equity community advisory, committee because that was the outlet, here, but actually, i would really just talk about, i would really like to just talk about humans. And how we, work together, and how we can enjoy this thing as i said call life. Life right, yeah that may be a, transition, here to a question about education. Yeah and actually. Um helping people gather these skills. Um. I'll just read the question as it's written, what would you like educators, to know, share and engage, with. When, with their k through 12 students, in regard, to a uh artificial, intelligence, and machine learning. There's a massive, gap, between, industry, expertise. And needs. Teacher prep programs. And k-12, curriculum. Well. This question reminds, me of it and it's not the questioner's. Fault, when people say there's a pipeline, issue, i know for myself. I have worked, with a number of organizations. That do education. So when we say there's a gap there might just be. Um, that people don't understand, or know, who some of these organizations. Are, and there are a number of them, that are on linkedin, that are on twitter. And if people want to engage with me separately, please connect with me on linkedin i'd love to partner, them. With these organizations. That i know of that build curriculum. That go into the school, systems. And they talk with the teachers, and they talk with the students, to really get them to, start understanding. Early on, how technology. Is influencing. Our lives. Great there's a couple of people here who are actually. Asking specifically. To connect with you, so, elizabeth, has just said. Linkedin. I'm happy to do it please do their, questions, specifically. About. For example, thinking of ai systems, that would, uh help us achieve the world as it should be not as it is, amen. A uh, uh, another, another man asking. Um. Uh for, recommendations. As a black male technologist. For ways to get engaged. Um. He's seen some things at the u.n but you know, happy to find other opportunities. For global work these are of course not national. Questions. Well i will let me just really say this when people ask me about getting engaged, i say follow your curiosity. That's what i did and i'll just tell you really real quickly so when i came back in june of 2018. I had just experienced. A very, um, you know. Racial. Experience, with with an organization. Someone had accused me of being on camera doing something i didn't, and they wouldn't use all the tools available, to them to prove that it wasn't me, and so when i came back i wasn't really sure what i wanted to do next and i saw the video. A i ain't i a woman by joy bulim weenie. And that is how i got involved in this work so i followed my curiosity.
I Then wrote a small ebook. Just trying to crystallize, my message. Around, why this. Was such a big issue. Then i took it to the community and started having learning events. And made my way you know back through my own organization. So. I would say start, there write an article, on something that you're seeing that's global. Um. And, when you see these opportunities, i see them on linkedin, all the time people are asking for new members to join their boards, and their, their committees, to start, framing, this work. And, so i i think the opportunities. Are ample. Great, wonderful, couple other specific, questions i want to make sure that, uh if anybody else has more questions, please share we have about, uh 10 more minutes but let me get these in. Um. How do you think technologists. Can best, think, about the second and third order level of their work. Best practices, or frameworks, to recommend, for thinking about those, uh second order consequences. Well i actually, think. And this is just me just like in most organizations. You have to go through a year. Every year you have to go through security awareness, training right like what is the phishing, email, and all this other kind of stuff i think we need to have ai ethics. And i think people need to understand. That their work goes beyond that just like you do with security. People need to understand, what happens when you click on an email, from. From some source that you're unfamiliar, with and the same thing can happen, if we have requirements. Around. Technology, ethics, are or ai, ethics. Which is this is what, is, this is what happens. When technology. We don't have ethics, built into, our tech design. And the technology, makes its way, i know that there are lots of organizations. That are starting to create. Ai ethics principles, and as we mentioned. Setting up um. Responsible. Ai, teams but i think we could go a little step, further or a step further by making it a requirement, that people understand, it, yeah, yeah. Very specific. Question. Um, going back to, your, discussion. Of, the work in minneapolis. Yeah, this is a little. Jarring to insert this question now but i'm afraid i just saw it which is. That after the murder of george, floyd, i think this was the context of this, uh, mention. Crime went up. And the question here is why. Okay, so that's a really, really good question and i will try and unpack, it as best as i can, so, after, george, floyd, the city council, decided, that they wanted to. Dismantle, the police department. And in order to dismantle. The or they wanted to, have more advocacy, around police, oversight. And in order to do that, we have to, dismantle, the police department because the charter, in minneapolis, says you have to do that if you want to change. The structure. And that did not, get approved, by the minneapolis. Police. Commission. And there was also. I'm sure people noticed, in our nation, there was a lot of. Um. Police officers, who weren't showing up to work. Or responding. To calls, and we've even had that here. In minneapolis. And so, from that. There were, um you know and then of course with covent, lucy, right so people are not working. There's a lot of things that are happening, in the city, that are impacting, people's ability, to, um you know feed their families, so there was this uptick in crime.
And, And, and, this was happening right when our ordinances, were making their way through the city, and so that's when, people started asking, us different questions, and having, wanting us to have a different, different conversations, and we realized, if we were going to continue. With the full ordinances, intact. That it probably wouldn't. It probably would take till next year. So yeah i hope that answered, the question. Um. For. The person. Great thank you very very helpful, um. And then actually that leads nicely to this this next question which i think is also, um, picking up on your. Um. Your message, of using technology. To help humans, thrive. Um. How might ai, be used. To support, the repair, and reinvestment. In housing, education. Health care. At a local or state level. In places where that's just, where. In particular, communities, have been, just thoroughly, divested, in over decades. Any thoughts there. Yeah i do, and you know um, lucy i'm not sure if you know but i had the intern, working, on a community. Response, command, center. Research. Project. And it was based off of how taiwan. Handled, its pandemic. Covid, and before. And part of the reason why they had to do that is is, other reasons but they created, an epidemic, center. That brought in, society. So anyone who was developing, apps it brought in the health. Healthcare. Organizations. Businesses. To help, everyone. Participate. In solutioning. The best, for, the community, and it's one of the reasons why they've been so successful. In dealing with, covid. I would love to see something, like that in the city of minneapolis, or in other cities, where you're bringing in. Um a coordinated. Effort to deal with these these kinds of things that come up so, if we're going to be reactive, so things such as a fire, or a flood, or another pandemic. But if we're going to be reactive. No using, the dashboard. Using a dashboard, that you would see. In these kind of command, centers, that would tell you, where there are some disparity. Disparities. Um but again. All of it is around the data you kind of have to unpack the data and make sure that. It's not garbage in because you bring garbage in it's going to be garbage out so i hope that. Helped, explain, that question well but i think you're what you're suggesting, goes a little bit i mean the data absolutely. Uh, not to disagree, but i think the question, and what you're suggesting. Actually. Um. Is, a, positive, framing. For what a city government. Could be doing for the people who live there, as opposed, to, providing, those resources. In a very, um almost punitive.
Or Monitoring. Or. Um. Way, that that. Those are the that that's the frame with which we think about how we might use these technologies. As opposed to as you've been suggesting. Um not suggesting, stating very clearly. For the last hour. How do we. Thrive. Both different voices, and different. Expertise, i think we got, time for one more question and. Um. Uh so if anyone else uh has has one to share please put it in the queue but let me ask you, about, the um. What's happening in minneapolis. With post me, and the the work you're doing on the racial equity committee. Um. The. Whole life cycle. Of. Technology. Use by, government. Seems to me. To be what you're working. On, not just, a committee, that decides, things about. How it's deployed. But, what's, purchased. By. Whom. For how long, and under what rules, if you will, at the very least am i am i understanding, that, yep, you are and what's even more important, as we dig a little further, is, how can we make sure, that the people who are using the technology. Understand. How to use the technology. And so they're not being nudged. By these organizations. Who are selling, the tools. Based on some. You know, false narrative, about a community. And so that's part of the challenge, too is making sure that the people who are using the technology. Making decisions, about, how the technology. Is being used to govern society. That they're not only, they're not bringing their human bias, and they're not also, adding, that to the technology. That might inherently. Be nudging, them, towards that, that actually, sounds to me, like, um. An extraordinary, opportunity. For, to the to the pan to the participants, who are asking questions about education. And skills, right, so there's. The. The understanding. And the expertise, that's necessary, on the oversight, bodies, there's the understanding, and the expertise, that's necessary. For those who will be then, handed, this technology. If you will at their workplace. There's obviously, the. Elements, of that that goes into creating, the technologies. Yep, there, are there any examples, that, any scale city, state. Smaller. Where, you've seen that all. Being attended, to. As a piece. No. Yeah. So that there's an opportunity, there there's a lot of skills and expertise. That's necessary. A lot of places, where it, is needed.
A, Lot of sort of points in the chain where it's needed but also a lot of different places, where. Opportunities. To provide it to the questioners, who are asking about how do i get involved. And i think part of the challenge is we're not all living under one mission, that is for every human to thrive. It's i want my group to thrive, or i want this person to thrive or. These people, aren't like us or this person isn't like us and so we're not all living under, one mission, and that's, part of the challenge. Right, right, right. Um. One last question, because i hear this in this context. A lot, about. Um. The kind of expertise. That's needed, to serve on a commission. Um at the city level, or to. To be a, um. You know a fire. Uh, firefighter. Who's now being, asked to use these different tools who thinks i was never trained in this way. All of that. Um. Any examples. Or advice, on. Reframing. This, conversation. From what strikes me as. One kind of expertise. Is more important than another. To, actually your lived, expertise, your lived experience. Of knowing. How. These systems, work. Um, is. As valuable, and as center, as. Knowing how to code in python. Like. Well absolutely. Because, as a technologist. That's what i bring to the table i'm not a coder. Right but i have a lived experience, and so what i tell people all the time especially, people here in minnesota, that i talk to we have like 500. Open seats for commissions, and boards, and i tell people if your passion, is parks and recreations. Look to see if there's a seat but maybe you're also a technologist. And you can help, them, through. Your lived experience, and your work experience. Become better at being the parks and recreations. Board and serving, the citizens. So yes to your point there are so many opportunities. For people to participate. At the city level at the state level, at the national, level and at the global level, on all of these commissions. Boards, and and so forth, but bringing, your, expertise, when i joined my first standards, boards, i've, i thought maybe they are going to wonder. How many degrees, do i have and how many certifications. Do i have but that was not it was really the conversation. People, i think. Want to know, more, and especially, if you just speak up and say yeah this isn't my lived experience.
Um, How can we have this conversation. What can we do about it, so. Yeah, to your point. There's many opportunities, to get involved. Wonderful, elizabeth, we're right up against the hour i want to thank you so much for your time, for sharing the, the generational. Commitment. Um and for helping us really, uh reframe. The timing. Of this work it's not a moment. It's a lifetime. It's many generations. And thank you for all that you do thank you to, uh hai. For the opportunity, and thanks to everyone who participated. Thank you thank you lucy, thank you.