S. Craig Watkins

MLK Visiting Professor, IDSS

S. Craig Watkins is the Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the Founding Director of the Institute for Media Innovation​. His research focuses on the impacts of media and data-based systems on human behavior, with a specific concentration on issues related to systemic racism. He is the author of six books and several articles and book chapters examining the intersections between race, technology, and society. His research also considers how diverse communities seek to adopt and deploy technology in innovative ways that address data literacy, civic life, and health. This work has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

Currently, Watkins is leading a team that will address the issue of artificial intelligence and systemic racism in a new six-year program funded by the Office of Vice President for Research at the University of Texas at Austin. The team will focus on the broad and fundamental scientific challenge of achieving racially equitable AI, while being grounded in testing the applicability of specific methods, models, processes, and procedures in critical domains like health and transportation. A key component of the research is to examine how various stakeholders—developers of technologies, the private and public sectors, and citizens—can work to create a more equitable AI future.

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