Sarah Shoker is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo where she works on issues related to gender, emerging technologies, and international security. Dr. Shoker is also the founder of Glassbox, a consultancy firm that analyzes software products that use big data, AI, and machine learning for signs of bias and legal risk. Glassbox trains software development and legal teams to identify how choices made along the technical pipeline can translate into bias.
Dr. Shoker received her PhD in political science from McMaster University. Her dissertation, which was nominated for the CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award, examined the Bush and Obama-era decision to exclude boys and men from drone warfare’s collateral damage count. The nomination came from her novel contributions to the field; Dr. Shoker was able to empirically demonstrate that data analysts used stereotypes about gender and religion to inform who was selected as a drone target. As a result, civilians were often mischaracterized as combatants. “Military-Age Males in U.S Counterinsurgency and Drone Warfare” is currently under contract with Palgrave MacMillan, with publication tentatively scheduled for 2020.
Dr. Shoker has a long history of working on important questions with social impact. She is the recipient of the David and Mary Edney Master’s Scholarship for International Understanding, a former director for the Canadian Political Science Association, and an affiliate member at the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute. For media inquiries, please contact [email protected]