Should We Hack Humanity?
2022 Education and Leadership Conference
October 31, 2022
Presented by SparkNC and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM)
With the generous support of event sponsors Cisco and the Broyhill Family Foundation.
Let’s talk Numbers:
In-Person and Virtual Student Attendees
North Carolina Schools
Adults Representing Tech and Education
SparkNC and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics co-hosted The 2022 Ethics and Leadership Conference: Should We Hack Humanity? on October 31st for students from across North Carolina to engage with the topic of ethical tech. Students attending in-person and virtually learned from experts and explored the potential and pitfalls of artificial intelligence advances in industry, criminal justice, education and more!
Check out our highlight video below.
Check out media coverage from
HumAIn: Empowering Inclusion with Technology
Noelle Silver Russell kicks off the 2022 Ethics and Leadership Conference for students by sharing how her own personal background and story pushed her to help build more inclusive technologies. Additionally, she speaks about some of the unintentional consequences of building a popular, AI-powered, household technology
AI In Your Neighborhood
Renée Cummings discusses her varied career path before she landed on the study of justice, privacy, and technology. She advocates for the importance of interdisciplinary perspectives as society moves towards a new, technological frontier. Noelle and Renée sit down to take questions from high-school students and explore answers to questions such as "how do you realistically view the future of technology and how does that concern and excite you?"
AI in the Exam Room: Corporations and
Government Have Your DNA
Charlotte Dungan explores questions surrounding the intersection of technology, medicine, and ethics. In doctor's offices, AI tools are recording your visit. If you take a vacation to Disney World, they collect your fingerprints and can use that biometric information. At-home DNA testing and newborn genetic screening results in the government and for-profit companies keeping and using your genetic information. This session helps students consider who has access to our bodily data, what they can do with it, and why we should care.
Hands On AI Tools
Charlotte Dungan introduces a variety of artificial intelligence tools for creating. This interdisciplinary session explores tools related to music, art, and other subjects to allow students to grasp the ways in which technology and our world are already utilizing AI and the ethical considerations in their use.
Noelle Silver Russell, Renée Cummings, and Charlotte Dungan speak about their individual paths to careers in tech, including their own challenges and how they chose to overcome them. They speak about their "bad days" and what they learned from them. And they share encouragement for others who are not sure they should be in high-tech fields.
Meet the Speakers
Just because we can harness the potential of technology in these ways, does that mean we should? If we do, what will be the consequences–good and bad–for fairness? For privacy? For democracy? Humans have the power to shape the future of technology in ways that are responsible, ethical, and humane. But we could also do the opposite.
The event speakers, Noelle Silver Russell, Renee Cummings and Charlotte Dungan shared their career journeys into AI and data science as women, people of color, and those who had non-traditional academic pathways. Volunteers from local tech companies facilitated conversations with students and shared their own journeys.
Noelle Silver Russell
MC & Featured Speaker
Artificial Intelligence Expert
Artificial Intelligence Ethicist
Chief Operating Officer
The AI Education Project