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Race and gender

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The Boston Globe

An international team of scientists, including researchers from MIT and Harvard, have found that an artificial intelligence program trained to read X-rays and CT scans can successfully predict a person’s race with 90 percent accuracy, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. The research team “first trained an AI system using standard data sets of X-rays and CT scans, where each image was labeled with the person’s race. The diagnostic images examined by the computer contained no obvious markers of race, like skin color or hair texture,” writes Bray. “Once the software had been shown large numbers of race-labeled images, it was then shown different sets of unlabeled images. The program was able to identify the race of people in the images with remarkable accuracy, often well above 90 percent.”

Stat

Isabella Cueto, a Cuban American journalist who has worked as a newspaper and radio reporter in Florida, South Carolina, and California, has been named the first recipient of the Sharon Begley-STAT Science Reporting Fellowship, reports STAT. “Named in honor of Begley, an award-winning science writer for STAT who died in January from complications of lung cancer, the fellowship combines a paid reporting position at STAT with an educational component provided through the prestigious Knight Science Journalism program.”

GBH

Prof. Evan Lieberman speaks with Craig LeMoult of GBH about his new study, which finds there are mixed reactions when people are informed of the racial disparities in Covid-19 outcomes in the U.S. “We are so interconnected as a society - economically, socially, politically,” says Lieberman, “and [it’s important] to remind everyone that we are all potential vectors for this epidemic so it really behooves all of us to cooperate and to be able to end this pandemic as soon as possible.”

WGBH

Alyce Johnson, Interim Institute Community Equity Officer, and Sharon Bridburg, Director of HR for the Office of the Vice Chancellor, speak with Callie Crossley on WGBH’s "Under the Radar with Callie Crossley" about the importance of cross-racial friendships and their participation in The Club, a “diverse group of friends in the MIT and Harvard human resources community.”

Smithsonian Magazine

In an article co-written for Smithsonian, Prof. John Van Reenen writes about an analysis he and his colleagues conducted examining how socioeconomic background, race and gender can impact a child’s chances of becoming an inventor. The researchers found that, “young people’s exposure to innovators may be an important way to reduce these disparities and increase the number of inventors.”

NBC News

A study co-authored by MIT researchers finds African-American ridesharing passengers are more likely to experience cancellations and higher wait times, reports Chelsea Bailey for NBC News. "The patterns of discrimination were quite clear and consistent in both cities – and one can only assume it's happening all across the country," explains Prof. Christopher Knittel.

Marketplace

Prof. Christopher Knittel speaks with Lewis Wallace of Marketplace about his study that shows that Uber or Lyft passengers with “African-American sounding” names were more likely to be cancelled on or experience long wait times. “The chances that an Uber driver accepted their ride, observed their name, and then cancelled their ride more than doubled,” says Knittel. 

CNN

A study co-authored by Prof. Christopher Knittel finds that some Uber and Lyft drivers are discriminating against passengers with “African-American sounding” names and taking women on longer, more expensive rides, writes Sara Ashley O’Brien for CNN Money. "We went into this hoping that we wouldn't see anything, but we found pretty strong evidence of discrimination," says Knittel.

Forbes

A new study co-authored by Prof. Evan Apfelbaum examines the best way to address racism in the workplace and beyond, reports Ellen McGirt for Forbes. The researchers found that “the more that leaders understand what people see as the root of the problem — malice or ignorance — the more likely they are to come up with effective solutions.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Mark Scott writes that a study co-authored by Prof. Christopher Knittel finds that some Uber and Lyft drivers racially discriminate. The researchers suggested that the companies could avoid discrimination by “not including passengers’ names when bookings are made.”

Bloomberg News

A new study co-authored by Prof. Christopher Knittel shows some Uber and Lyft drivers are racially discriminating when selecting passengers, writes Bloomberg News reporter Eric Newcomer. One of the study’s findings was that “Uber drivers disproportionately canceled on riders with black-sounding names, even though the company penalizes drivers who cancel frequently.”

The Washington Post

Professor Craig Wilder received a Hurston/Wright 2014 award for his book “Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities,” writes DeNeen L. Brown for The Washington Post. According to the judges, Wilder’s book “brilliantly exposes the blood-soaked ties between slavery and high education and higher education in America.”

PBS NewsHour

Jeffrey Brown of the PBS News Hour speaks with Professor Craig Wilder about the recent $40 million settlement received by five black and Latino men wrongly convicted of rape and assault in New York City 25 years ago.