CNN interviewed Sneha Revanur, a high-school senior in San Jose, California, who founded Encode Justice in 2020.

Algorithmic Justice League Promotes Efforts of Teen Group Encode Justice

An offshoot of the Algorithmic Justice League, Encode Justice is an international group of teenage grassroots activists pushing for ethical uses of AI. They have lobbied legislators, as well as held online seminars and meetings on the pitfalls of facial recognition technology. recently did a story on the group, a partner of AJL through its Community Reporting of Algorithmic System Harms (CRASH) project.

“Movements need to be led by the people who are most directly impacted. So the fight for more accountable and ethical AI in schools is going to have to have a strong leadership component from students in those schools,” said AJL R&D Director Sasha Costanza-Chock.

Encode Justice founder and president, Sneha Revanur, is a 16-year-old high-school senior in San Jose, California. The youth activist group points out the dangers of AI-based applications such as facial recognition software and deepfakes.

“We’re fighting for a future in which technology can be used to uplift, and not to oppress,” Revanur told CNN Business.

Schools, like many institutions, are increasingly using facial recognition, which has been proven to inaccurately identify people of color. They’re using them for on-campus surveillance systems and as part of remote testing services. Encode Justice is seeking to make students and adults aware of the problems with intrusive and unreliable surveillance.

Encode Justice’s members worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and another youth group, the Massachusetts-based Student Immigrant Movement, to fight against the use of facial-recognition technology in schools and other public places.