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Tom Tom 2019: Applied Machine Learning Keynote with Data Luminary Vida Williams

Special thanks to The Community Ideas Stations and WVCE PBS!

“While we all are projecting a future and normalizing who we are, human beings are compelled by difference and outliers. So if we quit highlighting the outliers, where’s our collective progress coming from?”


Vida Williams, Data Solutions Lead at Singlestone Consulting and the VCU DaVinci Center’s first ever “Innovator In Residence,” delivered a powerful call to action for our audience of data scientists and engaged citizens at the Jefferson Theater on April 11, 2019. Williams walked through ways to recognize and address bias in data, so that in efforts to innovate we do not leave our humanity behind. 

Williams describes how data-driven decision-making can have dramatic social consequences in ordinary contexts—in Williams’ case, a GPS named Evelyn navigating her around her own neighborhood.

Williams challenges us to consider the ambiguity of who should be held accountable for data-driven decisions, and that each of us has to be prepared to be the one to answer for them.

Williams suggests that the negative space in data must be seen in order to promote collective progress.





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