The AI Equity Lab is housed at Brookings Center for Technology Innovation (CTI) and is focused on advancing inclusive, ethical, nondiscriminatory, and democratized artificial intelligence (AI) models and systems throughout the United States and the Global South, including the African Union, India, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

In particular, the AI Equity Lab is focused on some of the most consequential areas of AI whose design implications, and autonomous decisions contribute to online biases, and can erode the quality of lives for people and their communities, including in criminal justice, education, health care, hiring and employment, housing, and voting rights.

By bringing together technical and non-technical experts interested in promoting more equitably designed and deployed existing and emerging technologies, the AI Equity Lab offers space for the exchange of independent groundbreaking research, more inclusive and pragmatic public policies, and long overdue collaborations between domestic, and international partners.

The AI Equity Lab will also house the newly created, and easily accessible ‘Hidden Figures Repository,’ which will amplify diverse and under-represented technical and non-technical voices whose expertise can be tapped by the media, policymakers, academia, civil society organizations, and other think tanks.

Areas of focus

The AI Equity Lab is focused on gathering top thinkers and leaders in respective areas where AI can implicate democratic participation and critical social mobilities, which substantiate the need for more inclusive thought leadership and accountability at the start of model creation and implementation. To eliminate online biases throughout AI’s lifecycle, the Equity Lab has three central activities:

  1. Workshop consequential applications of AI systems that affect humans and their humanity and to offer solutions reflecting the ‘lived experiences’ of impacted populations.

Esteemed scholars and experts will be convened at the onset of the AI Equity Lab to workshop in small groups the consequential issues below by identifying and providing solutions that mitigate the stated risks, existing and needed policy interventions, human implications, and other areas that address harmonization with existing antidiscrimination laws and impacts of global governance.

  • Criminal justice
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Hiring and employment
  • Housing
  • Financial services
  • Voting rights
  • Worker rights and workforce implications
  1. Create a platform for new, existing, and other groundbreaking research that advances more inclusive, interdisciplinary, and cross-sector ideas to address online biases, and obstacles to more enriched AI solutions.

From time to time, the AI Equity Lab will host public and private convenings, podcasts, and feature the work of experts exploring more equitably designed, and deployed technologies. The Equity Lab will also be centralized intelligence for new, and curated content that can be easily accessible by policymakers, industry, civil society organizations, academia, media, and other think tanks, including references, peer-reviewed blogs and long-form research, and video recordings.

  1. Amplify under-represented expert voices in AI through the new ‘Hidden Figures Repository’ that will facilitate greater sources of and connections to diverse and interdisciplinary technical and non-technical AI experts by policymakers, industry, academia, civil society organizations, media, and other think tanks.

Right now, diverse voices are not included in significant debates around the future of AI governance, and equity. The ‘Hidden Figures Repository’ will be launched in response to the absence of critical mass of such scholars and experts whose expertise in ideas, programs, and policies make them suitable candidates for increased exposure among key decisionmakers in government, industry, and the media, as well throughout the channels of academia and civil society communities.


The Brookings AI Equity Lab is created and led by Nicol Turner Lee, senior fellow and director of the Center for Technology Innovation with key advisement by CTI non-resident fellow, Renee Cummings, who is also Professor of Practice in Data Science and Co-Director of the Public Interest Technology University Network at the University of Virginia. Brookings CTI Fellow, Chinasa Okolo, is leading the AI in the Global South work. More affiliated scholars to be added soon.