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Raphael Gontijo Lopes

Raphael Gontijo Lopes

Role: Research Associate, Google Brain

Resides: San Francisco, CA

Favorite AI Tool: Searching for my friends in Google Photos

You represent a unique perspective in your work as an AI leader. Why is it important to have different perspectives at the table when AI is being developed for all communities?

Different life experiences literally have access to different truths about the world. Someone who has never experienced what it’s like to be discriminated against based on their skin color (for instance) won’t be able to fully understand the impact of automated discrimination. This is why making sure these life experiences are represented in developing any technology: to inform our understanding of its impact, and thus guide the decisions we make when developing it (or choosing not to).

Why did you pursue a career in AI?

I’m deeply curious about how the learning process works, and how we create beliefs about the world. AI is a tool that can provide a platform for answering these questions.

Why are you involved in diversity and inclusion in AI?

Because I believe everyone deserves the opportunity to investigate beautiful questions about the nature of learning, just as they should be able to explore any other intellectual pursuit they find worthwhile.

How does Queer in AI support its members?

Queer in AI has, throughout the years, built a resilient community of queer researchers. We provide space for connection, support, and knowledge-sharing, through academic workshops at major machine learning conferences, as well as on- and off-line social events. We also help connect our members with opportunities such as mentorship, jobs, grants, and more.

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