Understanding Bias in Artificial Intelligence: How Algorithms Impact Our Patrons and Work

Recorded On: 07/23/2021

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Now, more than ever, artificial intelligence (AI) affects people’s lives in significant ways. It is increasingly employed in housing, advertising, hiring, and the criminal justice system and is unquestionably fundamental to the current practice of law librarianship. Algorithms quietly make decisions without us knowing when or how they do it. While they can help us make sense of massive amounts of data, they can also misinterpret data and perpetuate bias. It is critical for law librarians to understand and raise awareness of AI bias and how it affects our patrons and our work. Panelists in the program will discuss various ways in which AI systems are biased, how this bias pervades the law, and what law librarians can do about these issues.

This program is sponsored by the Legal Information Services to the Public SIS.

Recorded at the 2021 AALL Virtual Conference. Please note the opinions shared during the programs represent the views of the speakers and not of AALL.


Attendees interested in technology, artificial intelligence, criminal justice, racial justice, and law librarianship.


  1. Participants will be able to identify three ways in which artificial intelligence systems are biased.
  2. Participants will be able to describe two ways in which this bias negatively impacts law library patrons.
  3. Participants will be able to name two ways to support transparency and ethical algorithm design.


  • Darla W. Jackson, University of Oklahoma Law Library
  • Michael Katell, The Alan Turing Institute
  • Ishita Rustagi, Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business


  • Rebecca Sherman, US Courts Library, 9th Cir


  • Nicole P. Dyszlewski, Roger Williams University School of Law Library

AALL BODY OF KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS: Research + Analysis, Information Management

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Understanding Bias in Artificial Intelligence
Recorded 07/23/2021
Recorded 07/23/2021