Timnit Gebru, US
A highly influential artificial-intelligence computer scientist, Timnit Gebru is the founder and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR), set up as “a space for independent, community-rooted AI research, free from Big Tech’s pervasive influence”.
She has criticised racial bias in facial recognition technologies, and co-founded a non-profit that works to improve the inclusion of black people in AI.
The Ethiopian-born computer scientist is on the board of AddisCoder, which teaches programming to Ethiopian students.
While working as co-lead of Google’s ethical AI team in 2020, she co-authored an academic paper that raised issues in AI language models, including structural bias against minorities and marginalised people and places.
The report led to her departure from the company – at the time, the company responded that the paper ignored relevant research and said Gebru had resigned. However, Gebru says she was fired for raising issues of discrimination in the workplace.