- PhD student at UMSI
- Educator, researcher, and activist on societal implications of AI
- Fighting for radical social justice & equity for historically oppressed communities
- Affiliations: Kapor Center, AI4ALL, Cogitai, and NYU
- Anime, boba, hip-hop, and poetry lover
Hello there! My name is Wells Lucas Santo (pronouns: he/him/his or she/her/hers). I am an interdisciplinary educator, researcher, and activist on the societal implications of technology and artificial intelligence (AI). I am currently the National Director of Curriculum and Training at SMASH, an educational non-profit that supports thousands of underrepresented scholars in STEM through high school, college, and the workplace.
Previously, I was the first AI Education Manager at AI4ALL, where I developed an inclusive, accessible, and culturally responsive AI curriculum for high school girls of color, with ethics and social justice at its foundations. This drew off of my industry experience working with Deep Reinforcement Learning researchers at Cogitai, my participation in the ACM FAccT community since 2016, and my Master's studies in AI and Science, Technology, and Society at NYU. I have taught in the classroom for 8 years, supporting hundreds of underrepresented students from middle school through graduate school across the nation. Today, I continue to strive to create equitable, inclusive, and joyful classroom environments focused on co-generative pedagogy, centering the lived experiences of my students.
I have spoken at venues such as the United Nations Youth Assembly, the SAFE Lab at Columbia University, and the Annual oSTEM Conference on topics such as AI bias and justice, the disparate impact that technology has on marginalized communities, and technology's role in amplifying systems of oppression. I also care deeply about abolition, transformative justice, critical race and digital studies, US boba history, anime, housing as a human right, and how I can better support my fellow QTPOC community as a queer, non-binary first-generation Southeast Asian American.