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Occasional Talk with Aubra Anthony

Equity and the Algorithm: The evolving role of bias in an increasingly data-driven society

Data-dependent services are nearly ubiquitous across our global society, and data is increasingly seen as an asset class in its own right. Corporations leverage advanced data mining and modeling techniques to individually market products to customers, while international aid organizations call for a ‘data revolution’ for sustainable development. With this heightened focus on data mining and predictive analytics comes immeasurable benefits for individuals, but there are unprecedented challenges that must be overcome in order for society to equitably benefit. This talk will explore bias and ethics considerations in the space of ‘big data’. As emergent tools like AI and machine learning aim to predict human behavior and potentially serve to justify life or death decisions, how might the biases and judgments of tool developers propagate through to affect social dynamics and power structures? We’ll consider how this techno-social system is currently evolving as well as what options might be undertaken to shape the system’s future progression.

Date: March 30, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Venue: Coor 4403

Lunch will be served.

Please RSVP by 3/29 here.

About the speaker: Aubra Anthony is currently a Senior Data Advisor in USAID’s Center for Digital Development within the Global Development Lab. She leads research into emerging trends in digital technology and translates that research into strategic recommendations for more proactive development programming. Aubra received her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin and then served as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in observational cosmology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where her tech policy interests led her to engage first through coursework and then as a Research Affiliate with the C.U. Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. She was a Hatfield Scholar with the Center for Democracy and Technology and a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow with USAID’s Center for Data, Analysis & Research.