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.
I was very pleased to present UnBias’ data at two great recent UK events that addressed children’s safety and wellbeing and children’s rights at: the NSPCC annual conference, ‘How safe are our Children? Growing up online’, 20th-21st June, in London and at the launch of the ‘Children, Rights and Childhood’ event, on 22nd June in Birmingham.
The Nottingham UnBias Team has been working with children aged 3-13 years to help them to learn how the internet works and to reflect on issues of personal information and online filter bubbles, through creating their own “data gardens”. We attended a Family Discovery Day on the 16th June at the University of Nottingham and the STEM Festival at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy on Saturday 23rd June.
We are pleased to announce that UnBias won one of the three 2017 RCUK Digital Economy Theme ‘Telling Tales of Engagement’ awards. The evaluation process for this award considered both the impact of our previous work and a proposed new activity to “tell the story” of our research.
Our submission was titled “building and engaging with multi-stakeholder panels for developing policy recommendations”, highlighting the importance to our research of engaging with our stakeholder panel and with organizations that are shaping the policy and governance space for algorithmic systems.
Our new video animation explains what algorithms are, how they shape our online browsing and how they can create risks of bias. It also describes how the UnBias project seeks to promote a future Internet that is free and fair for all. Watch it here!
On 16th April the House of Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence published a report called ‘AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?”. The report is based on an inquiry by the House of Lords conducted to consider the economic, ethical and social implications of advances in artificial intelligence. UnBias team member Ansgar Koene submitted written evidence based on the combined work of the UnBias investigations and our involvement with the development of the IEEE P7003 Standard for Algorithmic Bias Considerations.