Mutale Nkonde

Mutale Nkonde (red link) is an AI policy advisor, and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

Most recently, she has worked on briefings on the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019 to audit machine learning systems such as facial recognition systems for Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who introduced the bill in the House of Representatives. She has also advised Congress on Deepfakes legislation. The EFF has also weighed in.

Nkonde was born in Zambia, but has lived in the U.S. since working with the Obama senate campaign in 2008.   She has lived in the U.K., Russia, the Arab Emirates and Japan.

She was director of labor for Bill Lynch Associates, and has worked in political communications with BBC, ABC, and CNN, as well as for State Senator Kevin Parker, and the office of the New York City Comptroller.

She has started several firms, the Nkonde & Associates management consultancy firm, as well as Two Weeks Notice, for self-employed women of color, based on achieving wealth through the principle of attraction promoted by the book The Secret, which was also a film. She also started the non-profit AI For the People.

She is a founding member of Parenting While Black, a Brooklyn group that opposes desegregation. She started a Facebook page, “Young, Professional and Politically Engaged”, that hosted $35-a-head breakfast for people to introduce themselves and talk about their personal and professional goals.

Nkonde started her tech career as a Google liaison for Black Girls Code.

Hmm, and it looks like she’s a fan of “Os” Keyes, aka user:ironholds

She is a co-author of Advancing Racial Literacy in Tech.


“As mathematician Cathy O’Neil points out, there is an assumption here that algorithmic decision making is objective, when in fact it actually encodes the biases of its developers into statistical models — what she calls weapons of math destruction, because of the impact algorithmic bias has on the lives of minoritized communities.

“What is worse, sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva recently discovered a phenomenon called color-blind racism, which is characterized by people insisting they do not see color, yet at the same time doing nothing to dismantle racist systems. I’ll let that sink in.

“I’ve just published a report which found computer scientists typically describe themselves as color blind. They do not have the racial literacy to identify and remove racial proxies, like stop and frisk training data during the algorithmic design phase! So we are out here with a bunch of racist A.I. systems being used to decide everything from when our cars will stop, to which types of people are offered health care.”

.”The emergence of deepfakes was brought to public attention by Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson when an online deepfake of her seeming to perform explicit sexual acts was released last year. Her team worked tirelessly to refute the video and encouraged her to make a victim impact statement to clear her name, pointing to similar attacks on the actresses Natalie Portman and Emma Thompson. I was happy to see this show of strength — but at the same time I could not help but wonder: What if this happened to a poor Black woman like me?

“…If someone were to make deepfake pornographic content of me, it would undermine public trust and derail my career. I do not have the resources to salvage my reputation, to place my attack in a larger social context and to recoup the lost income. This is why I need the government to regulate the spread of deepfakes — and so do the rest of us.”

Social media

Can’t say I care for the race-baiting though.


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