Allison Koenecke

Cornell University

Biography: Allison Koenecke is an Assistant Professor of Information Science at Cornell University.  Her research interests lie broadly at the intersection of economics and computer science, and her projects focus on algorithmic fairness in online applications and causal inference in public health.  She previously was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research and received her PhD from Stanford's Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. 

Talk Title: Racial Disparities in Automated Speech Recognition

Online Via ZOOM | Mar 13, 2023 | 18:00  18:40 (UTC+2)

Abstract: Automated speech recognition (ASR) systems are now used in a variety of applications to convert spoken language to text, from virtual assistants, to closed captioning, to hands-free computing. By analyzing a large corpus of sociolinguistic interviews with white and African American speakers, we demonstrate large racial disparities in the performance of popular commercial ASR systems developed by Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Our results point to hurdles faced by African Americans in using increasingly widespread tools driven by speech recognition technology. More generally, our work illustrates the need to audit emerging machine-learning systems to ensure they are broadly inclusive. See more at

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