Alex Hanna
Published April 7, 2022

Alex Hanna is director of research at the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR), an independent organization that studies the development and impact of artificial intelligence. Previously, Hanna was a senior research scientist at Google studying ethical artificial intelligence and fair machine learning. A sociologist by training, her work centers on the data used in new computational technologies and the ways in which these data exacerbate racial, gender and class inequality. 

Her most recent research addresses the social biases in facial analysis technology and accountability in machine learning datasets. Hanna has published widely across the social sciences, including the journals Mobilization, American Behavioral Scientist and Big Data & Society. Hanna also studies social movements, focusing on the dynamics of anti-racist campus protests in the U.S. and Canada.

Hanna serves as a co-chair of Sociologists for Trans Justice and a senior fellow at the Center for Applied Transgender Studies, and sits on the advisory boards for the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and the Scholars Council for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. Fast Company included Hanna in its 2021 Queer 50 and she was featured in the Cal Academy of Sciences New Science exhibit, which highlights queer and trans scientists of color.

Hanna has a bachelor’s of science in computer science and mathematics and a bachelor’s of art in sociology from Purdue University. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

A Egyptian woman with red lipstick and long rectangle earrings and a blue headwrap smiles at the camera.

Courtesy of Brittany Hosea-Small

Pronouns: she/her

Expertise: Ethical artificial intelligence, tech accountability, race and technology, Big Tech, machine learning, sociology

Location: San Francisco, Calif.


Twitter: @alexhanna

Heard on the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto: “Alex Hanna, Data, Transparency, and AI Ethics”

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