ML Fairness Lead, Anti-Discrimination & Equity

Airbnb logo
  • Individual Contributor
  • TSPA Members
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • This position has been filled

Website Airbnb

This content was reproduced from the employer’s website on July 3, 2022. Please visit their website below for the most up-to-date information about this position.

Airbnb is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. It takes a unified team committed to our core values to achieve this goal. Airbnb’s various functions embody the company’s innovative spirit and our fast-moving team is committed to leading as a 21st century company.

The Trust organization protects, guides, and mobilizes the creation of trust in our community and on our platform. We hire motivated individuals who embody our company values and hold a steadfast commitment to creating a world where anyone in the Airbnb community can host, travel, and connect with peace of mind.

The Anti-Discrimination & Equity team works to enable all teams at the company to combat discrimination on our platform, and drive towards equitable access to amazing experiences for our hosts and guests. We do this by creating the systems, processes, tools and subject matter expertise that support teams to root out discrepancies throughout our products and policies.  The team consists of three pillars: Intelligence, Product Strategy, and Policy & Ops Enablement.

The Anti-Discrimination and Equity Intelligence pillar is made up of a groundbreaking group of technologists designing and building scalable and robust systems to detect and support the mitigation of inequities across the entire platform. This group is passionate about rooting out discrepancies in the product experience that may be correlated with race or other demographic attributes – the result of explicit or implicit discrimination between individuals (e.g., between hosts and guests), as well as broader, systemic inequities.

About you

  • You are tenacious in your pursuit of and commitment to Airbnb’s mission of belonging.
  • You have a passion for algorithimic fairness and understanding how to identify and mitigate bias, discrimination, disparities, and/or disparate impact in the ML context.
  • You have interest and experience in data ethics and best practices for building fair and explainable models, as well as background in privacy by design.
  • You are enthusiastic about solving complex problems with data; adding a new perspective to existing solutions and making business decisions based on careful and thoughtful analysis.
  • You have a proven track record of execution on projects that serve all stakeholders – community and company – and can clearly articulate the impact of that work.
  • You’re a thoughtful and clear communicator. You’re also a focused and empathetic listener.
  • You collaborate well with teams with different backgrounds / expertise / functions.
  • You bring a strong perspective that motivates product managers, researchers, data scientists, and engineers to develop simple, pragmatic solutions to complex problems.
  • You have the technical capacity to partner with tech leads and are comfortable jumping into the details when necessary to help drive resolution.
  • You have an appreciation for the scientific method of hypothesis validation, and the systems thinking to scale learnings.

How you’ll make an impact

You will work with diverse, smart, and driven researchers and engineers to balance fairness and equity considerations with business requirements. You will communicate fearlessly and take an active role in shaping the future of Airbnb’s approach to machine learning as well as data-driven decision-making within the product. You will work with our Anti-Discrimination & Equity Intelligence team to build systems for understanding the implications of automated decision systems. Your work will help to ensure that our ML systems are fair and free of bias, and that our product development process has access to critical information to help address issues of inequity within Airbnb.

In this role you’ll get to

  • Be a thought leader for the company on ML Fairness and identifying and mitigating potential bias or discrimination in models; help teams design solutions to mitigate bias in the model context.
  • Ensure that fairness and anti-discrimination stay at the center of Airbnb’s ML systems.
  • Develop standard guidance/methodologies for equitable ML product development across the organization, discussing the metrics, impact & tradeoffs of product changes with senior leadership. Understand when ML is applicable and when it is not, and what are the risks in both instances.
  • Provide guidance and advice through an anti-discrimination lens on model features and devlelopment, and discrimination risk and mitigation. Work with engineers and researchers to understand how everything fits together and how best to deliver meaningful impact.
  • Work closely with the Anti-Discrimination & Equity Intelligence team on research and development of new approaches to understanding potential inequities across the platform.
  • Help define the right set of problems and success metrics to maximize impact and value to Airbnb’s global community of Hosts and guests.  Manage relationships between other teams which you’ll partner with to deliver impact, and communicate findings to the rest of the company.
  • Bring principled and methodical decision-making. Make decisions which balance between immediate impact and long-term bets, as well as managing resourcing and prioritization.
  • Partner with other internal thought leaders on data ethics and execution of data ethics best practices.
  • Promote and maintain academic partnerships that support Airbnb to continue to be at the forefront of Anti-Discrimination & Equity work in the tech sector.

We are looking for people who have

  • A passion for ethics, fairness, and anti-discrimination. You keep up with the latest findings in the field, including technologies and best practices.
  • A background in, and  deep experience and understanding of ML and privacy by design concepts.
  • Strong analytical abilities and ability to synthesize complex information and distill key insights into clear narratives and recommendations.
  • A successful track record of leading large scale, high impact, cross-functional efforts from ideation, to strategy and implementation at the Executive level.
  • A positive and solution-oriented mindset; leads by example.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively partner across global, matrixed, and cross-functional teams.
  • Exceptional presentation, written, and oral communication skills to all audience sizes and levels up to senior leadership. Able to manage multiple projects across a diverse set of stakeholders.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and objectivity at all times even, and especially with delicate subject matter.

Preferred experience

  • Computer science or engineering background strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience identifying and mitigating discrimination and bias risks in the ML context through building fair and explainable models