The feature-length documentary “Coded Bias,” about facial-recognition algorithms seeing dark-skinned faces and women inaccurately, will be shown at Hope College on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in conjunction with national Black History Month. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

A panel discussion will immediately follow the screening.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

@ebertchicago has called the film a “fascinating study of how even the seemingly impartial world of tech is subject to embedded racism & privilege.”

As described on the film’s website, “Coded Bias explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the U.S. to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.”

The description continues, “Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against? When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that many facial recognition technologies do not accurately detect darker-skinned faces or classify the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral, and women are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected.”

The panel discussion will include Hope faculty who will give their reactions to the film as well as their perspective in conjunction with their fields of study. The panelists will include: Dr. Gerald Griffin, who is interim provost and a member of the biology and psychology faculty; Dr. Brooke Odle of the engineering faculty; Dr. Omofolakunmi (Fola) Olagbemi of the Computer Science faculty; and Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown, who is chief officer for culture and inclusion and a member of the psychology faculty.

The presentation is sponsored by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Computer Science, Black Student Union, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and Office of Sustainability.

Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing events@hope.edu or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Hope is currently requiring that masks be worn by all individuals while indoors on campus unless in their living space or alone in their work space.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St., between College and Columbia avenues.