Conference Global

KDD 2020 Announces Special Diversity & Inclusion Track

Talks, panels and papers dedicated to addressing social inequities and improving inclusivity in data science and artificial intelligence

Content provided by ACM SIGKDD.

KDD 2020, the premier interdisciplinary conference in data science, today announced an additional conference track dedicated to diversity and inclusion (D&I). Throughout the conference, taking place virtually between Aug. 23-27, the special track will offer speaking sessions, live panels and research papers on D&I topics related to engaging and representing traditionally underrepresented groups in all areas of the field – academia, industry, and artificial intelligence solutions.

The 13 talks featured in the D&I track will include a presentation on broadening participation in technology policy by Briana Posadas, Media Democracy Fund PhD fellow at the National Hispanic Media Coalition, as well as a presentation on creating a diverse workspace from academia to government to industry by Hasan Jackson, principal data scientist and solution architect at data science research lab QUADGRID.

“As a community, data scientists are doing a disservice to our downstream customers if we think of our industry as a diversity-neutral environment,” said Latifa Jackson, co-chair of the D&I track at KDD 2020 and assistant professor of pediatrics at Howard University. “If we want to effectively use data, we need to make sure it is truly representative of our environment. If we want to create a product which is helpful to all Americans, we need all types of people in every stage of the process including data collection, analysis, and programming.”

Additional speaking topics include how computer science education can address societal inequities, using machine learning to encourage greater participation from all backgrounds, ensuring virtual conferences are accessible to all, advancing indigenous genomic data sovereignty, and avoiding data and algorithm bias. Expert speakers include Krystal Tsosie, a Navajo geneticist and bioethicist at Vanderbilt University, and Keolu Fox, an assistant professor of anthropology and global health at the University of California San Diego, among others.

The conference will highlight research papers on D&I including one authored by Jackson and Heriberto Acosta, a fellow co-chair of the D&I track and PhD candidate at Nova Southeastern University, titled, “The Data Science Fire Next Time: Innovative Strategies for Mentoring in Data Science.” The paper is a direct play on James Baldwin’s book about the Civil Rights Movement, “The Fire Next Time,” and focusses on fostering mentorship, guidance, and connections for minority and underrepresented groups in the data science and machine learning community.

The D&I track at KDD 2020 also includes two live, one-hour long panels featuring experts on artificial intelligence for the betterment of inclusivity initiatives.

“As the most important data science conference in the world, KDD has the opportunity to set an example for other conferences and the industry to be more active in promoting diversity and inclusion in tech,” said Acosta. “Through KDD’s leadership, we have the power to communicate the benefits of diversity and translate this into actionable change within data science and throughout the world.”

KDD 2020 is being held virtually on Aug. 23-27, 2020. For more information on this year’s event, please visit: www.kdd.org/kdd2020.

About ACM SIGKDD:
ACM is the premier global professional organization for researchers and professionals dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of knowledge discovery and data mining. SIGKDD is ACM’s Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. The annual KDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining is the premier interdisciplinary conference for data mining, data science and analytics.

For more information on KDD, please visit: https://www.kdd.org/.


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