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AI Analysis of Racism in Sports Journalism & College Coaching: Q & A with Mohit Iyyer

30 Sep
Wednesday, 09/30/2020 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Virtual via Zoom
Speaker: Mohit Iyyer


"Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where there was only despair." - Nelson Mandela (2000)

As the nation engages in a painful examination of institutional racism, longstanding bias in the sports world is in the public eye. Professional athletes are taking collective action to halt playoff games and bring attention to Black Lives Matter; college athletes are joining forces to call out racism and financial exploitation in college sports; and, curtailed or canceled sports seasons are contributing to a highly charged environment.

Can Artificial Intelligence offer insights into the prevalence of racial bias in the sports world UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences Assistant Professor Mohit Iyyer uses artificial intelligence-in particular, natural language processing and machine learning-to analyze evidence of racial bias in sports broadcasting and coaching.

Join us on Wednesday, September 30 at 4 pm EDT as Dr. Iyyer shares his computational analysis of over 60 years of sports broadcasts, as well as evidence of racism and unconscious bias in game commentary and the discussion of athletes. Iyyer also will share information about a new study of racism in college football coaching, and the AI tools he uses in his research. A Q & A will follow his remarks, and we look forward to a spirited discussion. 

This event is free and open to the public. 


About the Speaker: 

Mohit Iyyer's main research interest is in designing deep neural networks for traditional natural language processing tasks and new problems that involve understanding creative language. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland College Park in 2017 where he was a member of the Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Lab. Iyyer was a young investigator at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and joined CICS in September 2018.

About the Series: 

The Computing and Social Justice Series brings CICS researchers and the public together to critically assess how computing innovation intersects with vitally important issues like structural bias, civic participation, economic inequality, and citizen privacy.