Women’s History Month Fireside Event

The Center for Applied Data Ethics is pleased to host a virtual Women’s History Month themed fireside chat on the digital dating landscape and emergent threats amidst a prolonged period of social distancing. Our two speakers help their communities navigate threats and challenges regularly, in two unique contexts.

RSVP at https://bityl.co/5ztb for zoom link

Spring 2021 Data Ethics Seminar Series

We are excited to announce the line-up for our spring data ethics seminar series at the University of San Francisco Center for Applied Data Ethics, exploring the risks, challenges, and harms of how algorithmic systems are impacting people today.  All talks will be held virtually; see the links below to sign up and for more details. All times listed in Pacific Time.

Pictured: J Khadijah Abduraman, Jasmine McNealy, Sam Robertson, Angelika Strohmayer, Devansh Saxena, and Cennydd Bowles

Pictured: (top row l-r) J Khadijah Abduraman, Jasmine McNealy, Sam Robertson, (bottom row l-r) Angelika Strohmayer, Devansh Saxena, and Cennydd Bowles

Feb 12, 2:30pm J Khadijah Abduraman Calculating the Souls of Black Folk: Reflections on Predictive Analytics in the Family Regulation System
Feb 19, 2:30pm Jasmine McNealy Looking Beyond the Prototype: How ‘supposed to’ makes way for harm
March 5, 11am Angelika Strohmayer Justice-Oriented Ecologies: Working to Design Digital Technologies with communities for more socially just worlds
April 9, 2:30pm Sam Robertson & Devansh Saxena Transparency, Equity, and Community Challenges for Student Assignment Algorithms and Child-Welfare System: An Interaction of Policy, Practice, and Algorithms
April 16, 2:30pm Xiaowei R. Wang Disrupt the discourse: Messy data in China’s digital authoritarianism and beyond
May 7, 11am Cennydd Bowles Akrasia at the Standing Desks

 

Getting Specific About AI Risks

by Rachel Thomas

The term “Artificial Intelligence” is a broad umbrella, referring to a variety of techniques applied to a range of tasks. This breadth can breed confusion. Success in using AI to identify tumors on lung x-rays, for instance, may offer no indication of whether AI can be used to accurately predict who will commit another crime or which employees will succeed, or whether these latter tasks are even appropriate candidates for the use of AI.  Misleading marketing hype often clouds distinctions between different types of tasks and suggests that breakthroughs on narrow research problems are more broadly applicable than is the case.  Furthermore, the nature of the risks posed by different categories of AI tasks varies, and it is crucial that we understand the distinctions.

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CADE Link Round-Up: Medicine’s Machine Learning Problem, A Genealogy of ImageNet, How Google’s Meltdown Could Shape Policy

by Rachel Thomas

The USF Center for Applied Data Ethics is home to a talented team of ethics fellows who often engage with current news events that intersect their research and expertise.  Here are a few recent articles by or quoting CADE researchers:

Four headlines: Medicine's Machine Learning Problem, From Whistleblower laws to unions, Between Philosophy and Experience, Lines of Sight Continue reading

CADE Round-Up: Government Use of AI, Intellectual Freedom, and the Impact of Dr. Timnit Gebru

by Rachel Thomas

The USF Center for Applied Data Ethics is home to a talented team of ethics fellows who often engage with current news events that intersect their research and expertise.  Timely topics have included the risks posed as governments rush to adopt AI solutions during the pandemic and the issues created by Google’s explanation of why they fired a leading AI ethics researcher.  Here are a few recent articles by CADE researchers:

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Introducing the first cohort of USF CADE Data Ethics Research Fellows

by Rachel Thomas

The University of San Francisco is welcoming three Data Ethics research fellows (one started in January, and the other two are beginning this month) for year-long, full-time fellowships. We are so excited to have them join our community. They bring expertise in an interdisciplinary range of fields, inlcuding bioethics, public policy, anthropology, computer science, data privacy, and political philosophy. We had many fantastic applicants for the program, and we wish we had been able to offer a larger number of fellowships. We hope to be able to expand this program in the future. Without further ado, here is our first cohort of data ethics research fellows: Ali AlkhatibRazvan Amironesei, and Nana Young.

bio headshots of Ali Alkhatib, Razvan Amironesei, Nana Young

from left to right: Ali Alkhatib, Razvan Amironesei, Nana Young

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6 Important Videos about Tech, Ethics, Policy, and Government

by Rachel Thomas

The remaining 6 videos from the the University of San Francisco Center for Applied Data Ethics Tech Policy Workshop are now available. This workshop was held in November 2019, which seems like a lifetime ago, yet the themes of tech ethics and responsible government use of technology remain incredibly relevant, particularly as governments are considering controversial new uses of technology for tracking or addressing the pandemic.

You can go straight to the videos here, or read more below:

And be sure to check out the full playlist of workshop videos here!

bio headshots of 7 of the speakers from the workshop

Speakers (left-right, top-bottom): Kristian Lum, Tawana Petty, Irina Raicu; Heather Patterson, Brian Hofer, Linda Gerull; Rumman Chowdhury, Deven Desai

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Disinformation: what it is, why it’s pervasive, and proposed regulations

The next two videos from the the University of San Francisco Center for Applied Data Ethics Tech Policy Workshop are available! Read more below, or watch them now:

bio headshots of researchers Renee DiResta and Guillaume Chaslot

Renee DiResta and Guillaume Chaslot are experts on disinformation who spoke at the CADE Tech Policy Workshop

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Tech Ethics Crisis: The Big Picture, and How We Got Here

by Rachel Thomas

The first two videos from the CADE Tech Policy Workshop are available. Read more below, or watch them now:

In November, a group of tech industry employees, concerned citizens, non-profit workers, activists, graduate students, and others gathered at the University of San Francisco for the Center for Applied Data Ethics Tech Policy Workshop to discuss issues related to disinformation, the criminal justice system, surveillance technologies, mass atrocity, and other issues of data misuse. People traveled from as far as Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and even France to participate, and employees from several tech companies and local government joined us as well.

Y-Vonne Hutchinson and Catherine Bracy were two of the speakers at the CADE Tech Policy WorkshopI’m excited to release the first two videos from the workshop today; please stay tuned as more will be released in the coming weeks. These talks by Y-Vonne Hutchinson, a former human rights lawyer and CEO of ReadySet, and Catherine Bracy, CEO of Tech Equity Collaborative, help paint the big picture of how we arrived at our current tech ethics crisis, as well as offer a path forward.

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4 Principles for Responsible Government Use of Technology

by Rachel Thomas

As governments consider new uses of technology, whether that be sensors on taxi cabspolice body cameras, or gunshot detectors in public places, this raises issues around surveillance of vulnerable populations, unintended consequences, and potential misuse. There are several principles to keep in mind in how these decisions can be made in a healthier and more responsible manner. It can be tempting to reduce debates about government adoption of technology into binary for/against narratives, but that fails to capture many crucial and nuanced aspects of these decisions.

We recently hosted the Tech Policy Workshop at the USF Center for Applied Data Ethics. One of the themes was how governments can promote the responsible use of technology. Here I will share some key recommendations that came out of these discussions.

  1. Listen to local communities
  2. Beware how NDAs obscure public sector process and law
  3. Security is not the same as safety
  4. Policy decisions should not be outsourced as design decisions

Headlines of articles related to government use of technology

Headlines of articles related to government use of technology

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