While it is often assumed that algorithms are neutral, it turns out they may have a racial bias. According to P&G Research, 80 percent of search results for “beautiful skin, face, woman” don’t include women of color. To raise awareness and help combat this issue, Olay is launching its #DecodetheBias campaign during National Coding Week (September 13-19). The campaign is inspired and backed by Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League (AJL), whose groundbreaking work to raise awareness of the social implications of AI is shown in the Netflix film “Coded Bias” and in her TED Talk on the topic.

Produced by Badgers & Winters, the campaign kicks off with a national 60-second T.V. spot and targeted print campaign which includes Joy, highlighting how data, computer code, and AI reinforces exclusionary beauty standards and exclude women of color. View the video below.

As a part of its #FacetheSTEMGap commitment to help double the number of women in STEM and triple the number of WOC in STEM, Olay has partnered with Black Girls CODE to send 1,000 girls of color to code camp. During the camp, the girls will explore everything from robotics to game design to iOS app development under the guidance of leaders within the tech industry. Olay hopes access to these resources could encourage them to enter the field and help decode the bias in search engines by diversifying the people who get to write the code. For each usage of the #DecodetheBias hashtag on Instagram or Twitter, the brand will send even more than 1,000 girls to the code camp (up to 1,200 total).

Internally, the brand audited their Olay Skin Advisor, a web-based tool that uses a selfie to provide a skin analysis and recommend skincare products. AJL audit partner ORCAA (O’Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing) helped assess the Olay Skin Advisor’s AI, identifying issues of bias and recommending steps for remediation, with Joy providing expertise throughout the process. By taking this step, Olay hopes to encourage the beauty industry and all industries to examine the AI behind their applications and create a more inclusive digital world.

To learn more about the campaign and access additional resources on the topic, visit olay.com/DecodetheBias.