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A woman holding a full-face white mask to her head. The alert 'FACE DETECTED' pops up as the computer processes the image.

Coded Bias

All Equal? Sisters The Bigger Picture Truth To Power

16 September 2020 - 27 September 2020

Subtitles Closed Captions
United Kingdom
Event Type:
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Film Synopsis: Coded Bias

Director: Shalini Kantayya | Countries of production: United Kingdom, United States | Year: 2020 | Length: 86 min
Language: English, Chinese (Mandarin) with English subtitles | Age: 12+ years

When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial recognition software fails to identify darker-skinned faces or women’s faces, she sets out to investigate widespread bias in algorithms. She proves what many suspected: Artificial intelligence is not neutral. From facial scanning used for policing and surveillance to automated HR and mortgage application systems, the building blocks of these omnipresent technologies are far from impartial. Rather, they mirror and magnify the toxic racism and sexism that are already so deep-rooted in society.

Coded Bias illuminates mass misconceptions about AI and emphasises the urgent need for legislative protection. It celebrates the women who, with humour, intelligence and determination, are leading the collective fight for justice in the age of automation.

Content notes:
Contains references to racism (including anti-semitism), misogyny, and some depictions of racially-motivated violence.

Screened as part of TOAFF20


Beyond the Screen

CODED BIAS Q&A – watch the replay!

For our opening night (Wed 16 September), we held conversation imagining what a future beyond surveillance and mechanised racism looks like. We were delighted to welcome Shalini Kantayya, the film’s director, alongside Silkie Carlo, Director of Big Brother Watch, and human rights lawyer Ravi Naik to explore the experiences of women and people of colour marginalised by biased technology – and the campaigners pushing for change.

Screening with short film: SUCKA PUNCH

Booking Information

How to watch
This film is available to watch at any time between 00:00 on 16 September and 23:59 on 27 September.

Ticket prices
Digital events still require a lot of work behind the scenes, and hosting digital screenings incurs significant costs. To reflect this, our recommended ticket price is £7, however we are operating a “sliding scale” ticket policy (thanks to SQIFF for leading the way) whereby audience members choose what to pay based on personal circumstances, from £2 upwards.  We don’t ask for any proof or ID – we just ask you to please be honest, so that this model can be sustainable for us as a small independent charity. For further guidance on price levels, please refer to this document, or the image below:

We don’t want price to be a barrier to access our festival. If you require free access, please contact freetickets@takeoneaction.org.uk, indicating the title of the film you wish to watch.

All live workshops and Q&As will be free to access.


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