#34 IVANA BARTOLETTI - on data discrimination, the power structures behind AI and why we need to create socially conscious algorithms


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Ivana Bartoletti is a Technical Director at Deloitte, the Co-founder of Women Leading in AI network, an international lobby group of women advocating for responsible AI and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Fabian Society.

In 2019 Ivana was awarded ‘Woman of the Year’ 2019 in the Cyber Security Awards in recognition of her growing reputation as an advocate of equality, privacy and ethics at the heart of tech and AI. Ivana is also Co-editor of the Fintech Circle’s The AI Book; The Artificial Intelligence handbook for investors, entrepreneurs and fintech visionaries.

Through her recently published book, An Artificial Revolution, Ivana brings to light the reality of the exponential advances being made in artificial intelligence. From the low-paid workers who toil to train algorithms to recognise cancerous polyps to the symbiotic relationship between AI and right-wing populism, Ivana explores the urgent existential threat that artificial intelligence poses to international social justice.

An Artificial Revolution makes us aware that we cannot be bystanders in an increasingly digitally driven world. As individuals, we are amassing data that forms part of our own identity and digital footprint. As brands and businesses we are using data to find, communicate with and sell to customers. We are using algorithms to predict trends, manage clothing production and make decisions based on computer-generated patterns. These patterns are not created on their own, they are coded by people with a desired outcome in mind.

As Ivana states in her book; The power underpinning AI is data. Data, in its current form and scale, constitutes a new form of capital, and its extraction and exploitation lie at the heart of the rise of AI. Data is who we are; what constitutes our intimate being. It is our every online purchase, decision, opinion; every click of our keyboard; increasingly, every movement and sound we make in front of our computer is being turned into a commodity. The harvesting of us as data citizens through control, surveillance and constant monitoring is what makes data turn into capital and accumulation. But data has a huge flaw, a flaw that is widely ignored or wilfully disguised: data is not neutral.

Through our podcast interview, Ivana’s expert insight shows us how society can be altered by data and how we must ensure that gender or racial bias is not built into algorithms by the people and businesses creating them. We also discuss how data and technology can be used to create a positive impact on the planet and society.


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