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AI Explainability in the Global South: Towards an Inclusive Praxis for Emerging Technology Users
IRB 5137 and Zoom: https://umd.zoom.us/j/97442068396?pwd=SUR2anVvWnJRd3dyQVFqK2JaVzlNdz09
Thursday, March 14, 2024, 2:00-3:15 pm Calendar
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As researchers and technology companies rush to develop artificial intelligence (AI) applications that address social impact problems in domains such as agriculture, education, and healthcare, it is critical to consider the needs of users like community health workers (CHWs), who will be increasingly expected to operate tools that incorporate these technologies. My research shows that CHWs have low levels of AI knowledge, form incorrect mental models about how AI works, and at times, may trust algorithmic decisions more than their own. This is concerning, given that AI applications targeting the work of CHWs are already in active development, and early deployments in low-resource healthcare settings have already reported failures that created additional workflow inefficiencies and inconvenienced patients. Explainable AI (XAI) can help avoid such pitfalls, but nearly all prior work has focused on users that live in relatively resource-rich settings (e.g., the US and Europe) and who arguably have substantially more experience with digital technologies overall and AI systems in particular. In my dissertation work, I critically engage with CHWs and AI practitioners to investigate the feasibility of (X)AI in resource-constrained environments in the Global South and provide actionable recommendations for practitioners (designers, developers, researchers, etc.) interested in building tools accessible to users within these contexts.

Chinasa T. Okolo, Ph.D. is a Fellow at The Brookings Institution and a recent Computer Science Ph.D. graduate from Cornell University. Her research focuses on AI governance in the Global South, human-centered approaches to AI explainability, and the future of data work. In addition to her work at Brookings, Dr. Okolo also serves as a Consulting Expert with the African Union, contributing to the development of the AU-AI Continental Strategy for Africa, and as an Ethics Advisor to the Equiano Institute, a research lab focused on steering safe and trustworthy AI in Africa. Her research has been covered widely in media outlets and published at top-tier venues in HCI and sociotechnical computing.

This talk is organized by Emily Dacquisto