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Welcoming New PAI Board Members: Angela Glover Blackwell and Dr. Ayanna Howard

Today we are pleased to announce that we are welcoming two new Directors to the Partnership on AI Board of Directors to help us better deliver on our mission to support AI technologies that benefit and empower as many people as possible.

Angela Glover Blackwell, the Founder in Residence at PolicyLink (a PAI Partner), joins us with deep experience in nonprofit governance and in designing inclusive and equitable policy. We look forward to drawing on her wisdom in organizational development and mission-driven program design as we continue to build the Partnership on AI.

“I’m honored to join the Board of the Partnership on AI. Its cutting-edge roster of partners includes a blend of leading technology firms, civic leaders, and social justice advocates – a vanguard community with the potential to tap the radical imagination in us all as we navigate the headwaters of AI innovation,” said Angela Glover Blackwell. “I’m committed to bringing the voice, wisdom, and experience of equity leaders to deliver on the promise of an equitable society: one where everyone can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.”

Dr. Ayanna Howard, also joining the Board, is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. Dr. Ayanna Howard’s academic research career has spanned artificial intelligence, computer vision, and robotics; she is also a celebrated educator and mentor focused on growing opportunities for students across the field. PAI will benefit from her wide-ranging expertise and her deep dedication to inclusive, responsible innovation.

“One of the most pressing issues facing AI today is ensuring AI is developed in a socially ethical way for maximizing public good – and that the generation of new AI researchers we mentor are trained in this as well,” commented Dr. Ayanna Howard. “As a community, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are an integrated part of the conversation that includes all diverse stakeholders – whether it is corporations, policy makers, or just the general public. As such I’m excited to be joining the PAI Board in shaping the advancements in AI to improve its impact positively on society in an equal and equitable fashion.”

About Angela Glover Blackwell

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Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder in Residence, started PolicyLink in 1999. Under Angela’s leadership, PolicyLink gained national prominence in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure.

Prior to founding PolicyLink, Angela served as Senior VP at the Rockefeller Foundation. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Urban Strategies Council. From 1977 to 1987, Angela was a partner at Public Advocates. Angela is the co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future, and she authored The Curb Cut Effect, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2017.

As a leading voice in the movement for equity in America, Angela serves on numerous boards, and she advised the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve as one of 15 members of its inaugural Community Advisory Council. She is the 2018 recipient of the John W. Gardner Leadership Award, presented by the Independent Sector, and in 2017, she received the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award from the University of California, Berkeley.

About Dr. Ayanna Howard

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Dr. Ayanna Howard is an educator, researcher, and innovator. Her academic career is highlighted by her focus on technology development for intelligent agents that must interact with and in a human-centered world, as well as on the education and mentoring of students in the engineering and computing fields. Dr. Howard has made significant contributions in the technology areas of artificial intelligence, computer vision, and robotics. Her published research, currently numbering over 250 peer-reviewed publications, has been widely disseminated in international journals and conference proceedings. She has over 20 years of R&D experience covering a number of projects that have been supported by various agencies including: National Science Foundation, Procter and Gamble, NASA, ExxonMobil, Intel, and the Grammy Foundation. She continues to produce novel research and ideas focused on applications that span from assistive robots in the home to therapy gaming apps to remote robotic exploration of extreme environments. By working at NASA before entering the academic world, she brings a unique perspective to the academic environment.

Currently, Dr. Howard is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. She also holds a faculty appointment in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering where she functions as the Director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab (HumAnS).

In 2015, she founded and now directs the $3M traineeship initiative in healthcare robotics and functions as the lead investigator on the NSF undergraduate summer research program in robotics. She received her B.S. from Brown University, her M.S.E.E. from the University of Southern California, her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, and her M.B.A. from Claremont University, Drucker School of Management. To date, her unique accomplishments have been highlighted through a number of awards and articles, including highlights in TIME Magazine, Black Enterprise, and USA Today, as well as being named a MIT Technology Review top young innovator and recognized as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider. In 2013, she also founded Zyrobotics as a university spin-off and holds a position in the company as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Zyrobotics, LLC is currently licensing technology derived from her research and has released their first suite of mobile therapy and educational products for children with differing needs. From 1993-2005, Dr. Howard was at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where she was a Senior Robotics Researcher and Deputy Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist.

She has also served as the Associate Director of Research for the Georgia Tech Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Chair of the multidisciplinary Robotics Ph.D. program at Georgia Tech, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Development in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.