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Part of Doc Stories film series

Coded Bias

Directed by Shalini Kantayya

USA | Documentary | 86

This is a free community screening and part of the Sloan Science on Screen program; RSVP is required. Registrants will have access to view this film for a limited time and views must be completed within 24 hours of starting. The live Q&A will take place on this page, and a video recording will be posted here shortly afterward. Visit our FAQ for more info.


Film Available to Stream

Thu, Dec 3 at 12:01 am – Sun, Dec 6 at 11:59 pm PST

Live Q&A

Sat, Dec 5 at 6:00 pm PST


Director Shalini Kantayya is expected for the live Q&A on Saturday, December 5 at 6:00 pm PST.


This revelatory documentary exposes the ways that AI systems have developed algorithms that can infringe on our privacy and threaten civil rights. From facial recognition software that finds it difficult to distinguish the faces of women and people of color to HR systems that reject applicants with “ethnic” or female names, the impact of these technologies cannot be underestimated. Featuring several women tackling algorithmic bias, the film reveals the unchecked power that is being wielded from the data collected from every keystroke and phone call we make.

“A new documentary by director Shalini Kantayya, Coded Bias aims to dig deeper in how racial bias in facial recognition technology is a much bigger problem than it may seem. Using a diverse set of interviews and examples on how facial recognition software and sorting algorithms are a danger to society, the documentary provides a major case for why legal intervention is pivotal in creating an equal environment for all.” —Julia Sachs, GritDaily

This event is part of the Sloan Science on Screen program, launched by SFFILM in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation — the nation’s leading philanthropic grantor for science and the arts — to enhance public understanding of science through the language of film. SFFILM’s Sloan Science in Cinema initiative includes four interconnected programs — fellowships, screenwriting workshops, awards, and exhibition opportunities — that elevate filmmakers who tackle scientific or technological themes. Both the Sloan Foundation and SFFILM believe that filmmakers have the power to immerse audiences in the challenges and rewards of scientific discovery while illuminating the intersections between science, technology, and our daily lives.

Closed captioning will be available for this title.

Director Shalini Kantayya

Shalini Kantayya is a Fulbright Scholar, TED Fellow, Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, and finalist for the ABC Disney/DGA Directing Program. As a contestant on On the Lot (2007), a Steven Spielberg reality TV series seeking to find the next great film director, she finished in the top ten. She made her feature debut with the documentary Catching the Sun (2015).

Film Details

Language English

Year 2019

Runtime 86

Country USA/China/UK

Director Shalini Kantayya

Producer Shalini Kantayya

Editor Alexandra Gilwit, Zachary Ludescher, Shalini Kantayya

Cinematographer Steve Acevedo

Music Katya Mihailova

Print Source 7th Empire Media