A computer scientist goes to Washington: Reflections on the AI Bill of Rights, technology policy and the role of the academy with Suresh Venkatasubramanian

Apr. 4, 2023
12:10PM - 1:00PM
SLB Room 128
Open to the YLS Community Only

"In October 2022, the White House released a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights—the first high-level articulation of the challenges associated with our rapid move to an “algorithmic society,” and a deep dive into how people should be protected from the harms that come with this move.

As a computer scientist with deep expertise in the impact of automation on society, as well as some exposure to policymaking at state and local levels, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I joined OSTP to help develop this Blueprint. 

I didn't. 

But after my time in government, and now that I'm back directing a new Center for Tech Responsibility at Brown, I've had time to reflect on what it takes to move things along in government, what the discourse around technology policy looks like (and should!), and where scholars can help. 

In this talk, I'll lay out what I've learned so far, and where I think we need to be heading."

Suresh Venkatasubramanian is a Professor of Computer Science and Data Science at Brown University, and directs the Center for Technological Responsibility, Reimagination and Redesign. Suresh's background is as a computer scientist and his current research interests focus on the impact of automated decision-making systems in society.

Suresh recently finished a stint in the Biden-Harris administration, where he served as Assistant Director for Science and Justice in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  In that capacity, he helped co-author the Blueprint for an AI BIll of Rights.

Prior to Brown University, Suresh was at the University of Utah, where as an assistant professor he was the John and Marva Warnock Assistant Professor. He has received a CAREER award from the NSF for his work in the geometry of probability, a test-of-time award at ICDE 2017 for his work in privacy, and a KAIS Journal award for his work on . His research on algorithmic fairness has received press coverage across North America and Europe, including NPR’s Science Friday, NBC, and CNN, as well as in other media outlets. He is a past member of the Computing Community Consortium Council of the CRA, spent 4 years (2017-2021) as a member of the board of the ACLU in Utah, and is a past member of New York City’s Failure to Appear Tool (FTA) Research Advisory Council, the Research Advisory Council for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania and the Utah State Auditor's Commission on protecting privacy and preventing discrimination.

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Information Society Project, SALSA