Skip to content
Thomson Reuters
Videos and Podcasts

The Hearing: Episode 77 – The impact of AI and algorithms on the fairness of our justice systems


We, along with the rest of the legal industry, have talked at length about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on our profession. But this time we concern ourselves not with the efficiencies of machine learning and automation, but instead with potential injustice and the need for vigilance in the face of seismic developments.

AI is already being used extensively in areas like recruitment, policing and the court—as it’s often assumed that machines, unlike humans, are objective and neutral.  But, as this episode discusses, computer algorithms can easily perpetuate and amplify human biases.

Becky Annison and our three guests—who are each working to understand and fight against algorithmic injustice—discuss the causes as well as the cumulative and damaging effects of coded bias. The computer scientist and digital activist Joy Buolamwini describes this phenomenon as the ‘exclusion overhead’—the cost of systems that exclude and discriminate against those with experiential differences who are outside the code writing room.


Sandra Wachter, Associate Professor & Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Kristian Lum, Research Assistant Professor, Dept. of Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania

Ivana Bartoletti, Technical Director – Privacy, Deloitte; Visiting Policy Fellow, University of Oxford

Listen now on Apple Podcasts

Listen now on Spotify

Listen now on SoundCloud

The Hearing: Episode 89 – Special *2021 Yearbook* Episode The Hearing: Episode 83 – Image-based sexual abuse and the law The Hearing: Episode 82 – Julia Cooper (Breastfeed in Peace) The Hearing: Episode 81 – Stanley Litow (P-TECH) The Hearing: Episode 79 – Freddy McConnell The Hearing: Episode 76 – Laura Bates (Everyday Sexism Project) The Hearing: Episode 75 – Andrew Fletcher (Thomson Reuters Labs) The Hearing: Episode 74 – Will Moy (Full Fact) The Hearing: Episode 73 – Federico Ast (Kleros) The Hearing: Episode 72—Joeli Brearley (Pregnant Then Screwed)