On October 25th we presented our Science Technology Options Assessment (STOA) report on “a governance framework for algorithmic accountability and transparency” to the Members of the European Parliament and the European Parliament Research Services “Panel for the Future of Science and Technology.
For two years the UnBias project has been examining the user experience of algorithm driven internet platforms and seeking answers to important questions such as:
- Are algorithms ever neutral?
- How might algorithmic systems produce unexpected outcomes that systematically disadvantage individuals, groups or communities?
- How can we make sure that algorithmic processes operate in our best interests?
On October 1st 2018 we held our UnBias project showcase event. Seventy attendees from the fields of research, policy, law, industry and education came together at the Digital Catapult in London to hear and discuss our key project findings. We also highlighted our practical outputs such as policy guidelines and our exciting fairness toolkit.
The event also included a lively panel debate and engaging presentations from external speakers about the social consequences of algorithmic biases and how they might be addressed. We ended the day by announcing plans for our follow-on project, ReEnTrust, which will identify mechanisms to rebuild and enhance trust in algorithmic systems.
Watch an overview of the day here!
The Nottingham UnBias team have finished running our Youth Juries and we are delighted to announce the launch of a report ‘Youth Juries- what we learned from you’ – for the children and young people that participated. If you were one of these people- thank you for taking part! We hope that you enjoy reading the report. We would also like to thank our Youth Advisory Group for their thoughtful and constructive insights that helped to design and shape the report.
For a shorter summary of what we did in the Youth Juries and what the team discovered, please keep reading…
OUR FUTURE INTERNET: FROM BIAS TO TRUST
DIGITAL CATAPULT: OCTOBER 1ST 10.30 AM TO 5.00 PM
On October 1st the UnBias project team will be showcasing the outcomes of our work. We are looking forward to welcoming an audience of 70 stakeholders from research, law, policy, education and industry.
In addition to reporting on our major findings we will also highlight key outputs such as policy guidelines and demonstrate our exciting fairness toolkit. This engaging and interactive event will also include presentations from external speakers and opportunities for networking. Furthermore, we will announce plans for our follow-on project, ReEnTrust, which will identify mechanisms to rebuild and enhance trust in algorithmic systems.
The Fairness Toolkit has been developed for UnBias by Giles Lane and his team at Proboscis, with the input of young people and stakeholders. It is one of our project outputs aiming to promote awareness and stimulate a public civic dialogue about how algorithms shape online experiences and to reflect on possible changes to address issues of online unfairness. The tools are not just for critical thinking, but for civic thinking – supporting a more collective approach to imagining the future as a contrast to the individual atomising effect that such technologies often cause.
The toolkit contains the following elements:
2. Awareness Cards
5. Value Perception Worksheets
All components of Toolkit are freely available to download and print from our site under Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).
Download the complete UnBias Fairness Toolkit (zip archive 18Mb)
Demonstrations of the toolkit will be given at the V&A Digital Design weekend, London September 22nd.
Over the last two years UnBias has engaged with a wide range of stake holder to explore the issue of bias in algorithmic decision making systems. In this post I wanted to share some personal thoughts on this issue, especially in relation the introduction of “AI” systems.
On the week-end of June 30th and July 1st, the UnBias team hosted a two-day hackathon at Codebase in Edinburgh, with support from local outfit Product Forge, whose experience organizing such events is unrivalled in Scotland.
The hackathon challenge was formulated as follows:
“Artificial Intelligence shapes digital services that have become central to our everyday lives. Online platforms leverage the power of AI to monetize our attention, with often unethical side-effects: our privacy is routinely breached, our perception of the world is seriously distorted, and we are left with unhealthy addictions to our screens and devices. The deep asymmetry of power between users and service providers, the opacity and unaccountability of the algorithms driving these services, and their exploitation by trolls, bullies and propagandists are serious threats to our well-being in the digital era.
In response to the growing importance of algorithmic products in international trade, regional and international trade negotiations at the WTO and elsewhere are currently seeking to set down new rules regarding issues such as Intellectual Property and algorithmic transparency.
In order to try to avoid outcomes of the trade negotiations that inadvertently blocks algorithmic accountability, Ansgar is supporting Sanya Reid Smith of Third World Network in her efforts to brief trade negotiators on causes and consequences of algorithmic bias and the current status of regulatory and standards initiatives to address these issues.
We are conducting a survey on algorithm preferences for solving resource-allocation problems. The survey consists of two case studies with 5 options to determine the allocation algorithm. Completing this task should take between 10 – 20 minutes.
As of May 25th 2018 the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018) has taken effect in the UK, supporting and supplementing the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
An important requirement in the DPA2018, going beyond the GDPR, is the inclusion of an Age Appropriate Design Code (section 123 of DPA2018) to provide guidance on the design standards that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will expect providers of online ‘Information Society Services’ (ISS), which are likely to be accessed by children, to meet.
The ICO is responsible for drafting the Code and has issued a call for evidence is the first stage of the consultation process.