About

We seek to combat abuses in the tech industry through coupling concerned tech workers with relevant members of civil society.

Our leadership is currently entirely composed of tech workers; you can read about our governance structure here.

Procurement and Lobbying Explorer

We have launched an alpha version of an explorer for entities and awards associated with US federal contracts listed on the U.S. Federal Procurement Database System. Lobbying filings are also retrieved, somewhat-daily, from the Office of Public Records. One can directly download these datasets from www.senate.gov/legislative/Public_Disclosure/LDA_reports.htm.

Recent events

March 5, 2020
We gave a talk on recent facial recognition abuses to 100 high school students, the mayor, and chief of police in Cobourg, Ontario. You can find the slides at RecentFacialRecHistory.pdf. There was some interesting debate afterward...

February 28, 2020
Jack Poulson gave a colloquium talk in Cornell's Applied Mathematics department on the context of the Defense Innovation Initiative. The final portion of the talk makes use of a custom recommendation engine for defense contractors that was built in response to the DoD being unresponsive to FOIA requests. You can explore a corresponding cluster tree of 138,000 federal contractors at techinquiry.org/fpds/ and find the underlying open source software at gitlab.com/tech-inquiry/gov-contract-embeddings.

December 13, 2019
Tech Inquiry, along with other organizers from Dovetail Labs, Data and Society, the University of Chicago, and Google, recently hosted a NeurIPS 2019 workshop entitled Minding the Gap: Between Fairness and Ethics. The goal of the event was to bring together leading AI researchers (e.g., Yoshua Bengio), social scientists, and representatives from impacted communities, in a conversation about the responsibilities of AI scientists. Videos from Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV are now online. We are sincerely grateful for the funding from MacArthur Foundation's Technology in the Public Interest and Ford Foundation's Technology and Society programs.

Public campaigns

September 24, 2019
Tech Inquiry is helping lead a formal call for the retraction of the infamous Wiley paper Facial feature discovery for ethnicity recognition based upon the editors and authors violating their obligations under the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
Update (December 2019)
This campaign has been covered by Nature and The New York Times, prompting a reopening of Wiley's review after their initial response.

September 1, 2019
Due to Eric Schmidt's role in the demotion of a DOD ethics compliance officer, his decade long support for profiting from the suppression of human rights and dissent in China, and his failure as a leader of Google to discourage his executives' sexual harassment, we have released an open letter calling for Stanford's Insitute for Human-Centered AI to not elevate him as a keynote speaker at their upcoming ethics conference.

Tech Inquiry was founded in March of 2019 by Dr. Jack Poulson due to his experiences advocating for Google — his former employer — to be held accountable for its planned censorship and surveillance of human rights information and activity in China and abroad.

Reaching out

Inquiries can be directed to: info@techinquiry.org.

Donating

Tech Inquiry is currently fiscally sponsored through the U.S. 501(c)(3) The Signals Network -- the whistleblowers foundation, and you can donate to us tax-free via this link. But please note that you must write "Tech Inquiry" in the comments for the donation to make it to us. Please see this PDF for more information.