Tag: algorithms

The Messy Reality of Algorithmic Culture

danah boyd argues that we need to develop more sophisticated ways of thinking about technology before jumping to hype and fear. Data-driven and algorithmic systems increasingly underpin many decision-making systems, shaping where law enforcement are stationed and what news you are shown on social media. The design of these systems is inscribed with organizational and…

The Devastating Consequences of Being Poor in the Digital Age

Mary Madden discussing the privacy and security violations that occur in our increasingly digitized society. This is increasingly true for marginalized and vulnerable populations. The poor experience these two extremes — hypervisibility and invisibility — while often lacking the agency or resources to challenge unfair outcomes. Madden draws on work that focused on privacy perceptions…

The Age of Cultured Machines

The Age of Cultured Machines (SAPIENS)

Two robots traverse the desert floor. Explosions from a decades-old conflict have left a pockmarked and unstable territory, though many more improvised bombs lie concealed in its vast reaches. Sunlight splays off the beaten edges of Optimus, the smaller robot. Its motors whir as its claw grasps an u…

From Sapiens. This imaginary scene shows the power of learning from others. Anthropologists and zoologists call this “social learning”: picking up new information by observing or interacting with others and the things others produce. Social learning is rife among humans and across the wider animal kingdom. As we discussed in our previous post, learning socially…

How ‘Googling it’ can send conservatives down secret rabbit holes of alternative facts

How ‘Googling it’ can send conservatives down secret rabbit holes of alternative facts

We saw some of this happening in earlier research on online reading comprehension. Specifically, I had concerns about how algorithms might impact, shape, or modify what we’re looking for. “Googling it” has become the news equivalent of “do your own research.” But neither Google, nor search terms, are purely neutral. “Even in the face of research…

Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer

Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer (Data & Society)

Algorithmic Accountability examines the process of assigning responsibility for harm when algorithmic decision-making results in discriminatory and inequitable outcomes. The primer–originally prepared for the Progressive Congressional Caucus’ Tech Algorithm Briefing–explores the trade-offs debate

Big decisions about people’s lives are increasingly made by software systems and algorithms. This primer explores issues of algorithmic accountability, or the process of assigning responsibility for harm when algorithmic decision-making results in discriminatory and inequitable outcomes. There are few consumer or civil rights protections that limit the types of data used to build data…