Digital Democracy: Critical Perspectives in the Age if Big Data

Some of us attended a joint conference of the ECREA (European Communications Research and Education Association) Communication and Media Industries, on the 10th-11th November in Stockholm. About 100 people, mainly academics, researchers from NGOs and media consultants from Europe and the US, took part.

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In the Conversation: “Machine gaydar: AI is reinforcing stereotypes that liberal societies are trying to get rid of”

On September 7th the Guardian published an article drawing attention to a study from Stanford University which had applied Deep Neural Networks (a form of machine learning AI) to test if they could distinguish peoples’ sexual orientation from facial images. After reading both the original study and the Guardian’s report about it, there were so many problematic aspects about the study that I immediately had to write a response, which was published in the Conversation on September 13th under the title “Machine gaydar: AI is reinforcing stereotypes that liberal societies are trying to get rid of“.

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UnBias submissions to UK Parliamentary inquiries on “Fake News” and “Algorithms in decision-making”

Prior to the June 8th snap election there were two Commons Select Committee inquiries that both touched directly on our work at UnBias and for which we submitted written evidence. One on “Algorithms in decision-making” and another on “Fake News”.

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Algorithms and the persuasion machine

In the current BBC series Secrets of Silicon Valley Jamie Bartlett (technology writer and Director of the Centre for Social Media Analysis at Demos) explores the ‘dark reality behind Silicon Valley’s glittering promise to build a better world.’ Episode 2, The Persuasion Machine, shines a spotlight on several of the issues we are investigating in UnBias.

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A Month of Conferences and Workshops

June was a month of conferences and workshops for UnBias. The 3rd UnBias project meeting on June 1st, hosted by our Edinburgh partners this time, was quickly followed by the Ethicomp and EuroDIG conferences which both took place from June 5th to 8th.

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UnBias project contribution to the 4th Winchester Conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law

The 4th Winchester Conference on Trust, Risk, Information and the Law took place at the University of Winchester on Wednesday 3rd May 2017. The overarching theme of the day was “Artificial and De-Personalised Decision-Making: Machine-Learning, A.I. and Drones”: offering a chance for multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary discussion on the risks and opportunities presented by algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

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Emancipating Users Against Algorithmic Biases for a Trusted Digital Economy