Portrait of Avriel C Epps

Avriel C. Epps


Citizens and Technology Lab Civic Science Fellow



Project focus: The Fellow will design and carry out a project that advances diverse participation in the study of human-algorithm behavior, drawing from topics identified by current community partners that include managing algorithmic harms such as online harassment, racial prejudice, and misinformation, as well as positive aspirations for AI such as increasing digital inclusion, broadening access to global knowledge, and fostering constructive dialogue across differences.

Avriel Epps (she/they) is a computational social scientist and a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and Graduate School of Education. She also holds an M.S. in Data Science from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA. Her work, supported by The Ford Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, and the National Center on Race and Digital Justice, delves into how bias in predictive technologies affects adolescent racial, gender, and sociopolitical identity development. She aims to shed light on the complex ways that algorithm design and computer-mediated social expectations—often communicated through artificial intelligence systems—impact the beliefs, behaviors, and health of young people.

Avriel also leads AI4Abolition, an organization dedicated to increasing AI literacy and building open-source AI tools for marginalized communities, as its co-founding director. Avriel has been invited to speak at various venues including tech giants like Google and TikTok, and The US Courts, focusing on algorithmic bias and fairness. As an educator, she has taught and designed courses for Harvard and EdX on subjects like Digital Privacy, Data Science Ethics, and Adolescent Development. Her scholarship has not only appeared in academic journals and handbooks but has also reached wider audiences through publications like The Atlantic and the Emmy nominated PBS documentary “TikTok, Boom.”