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!
In the spirit of recent events surrounding the revelations about Cambridge Analytica and the breaches of trust regarding Facebook and personal data, ISOC UK and the Horizon Digital Economy Research institute held a panel discussion on “Multi Sided Trust for Multi Sided Platforms“. The panel brought together representatives from different sectors to discuss the topic of trust on the Internet, focusing on consumer to business trust; how users trust online services that are offered to them. Such services include, but are not limited to, online shopping, social media, online banking and search engines.
Hundreds of people attended this free event that offered a very diverse and fun programme with lots of hands-on activities and demonstrations on different topics: life sciences, astronomy, chemistry, physics, psychology, natural history, engineering, etc.
As part of the ESRC Festival of Science the UnBias research team will run two Youth Juries on Saturday 11th of November 2017 at the Nottingham Broadway cinema.
Saturday 11th November
10:00 – 12:00 and 14:00-16:00
UnBias Youth Jury: Who is in charge? You or the algorithm?A youth-led discussion about algorithm fairness.
The UnBias Youth Juries are interactive and participative events to allow young people to reflect, understand and have a say about how the Internet works. Young people will be asked to consider, debate and share ideas about recommender systems like Amazon or search engines like Google or DuckDuckGo.
The UnBias Youth Jury will be highly interactive and it will showcase short video clips and scenarios as a way of sparking debate. It will be fun and engaging, and will allow a space for everyone to share their opinions and experiences.
During the event, participants will be invited to become part of a ‘jury’ that will reflect and offer advice on:
•Algorithms’ fairness and their relevance to the participants
•Filtering information from the Internet – how is it or can be done?
•How participants would like to manage their personal identity
•Youth-lead educational tools and policy recommendations
•Ways of further engaging with young people in thinking about and acting upon algorithm bias.
Participants will be asked to complete a short survey at the beginning and end of each ‘jury’ session.
The event will last 2 hours in total, with time allowed for refreshment breaks.
You will get the chance to add your voice to a high-profile campaign on digital rights, while contributing on the development of educational material that will be available to participants, educators and guardians through the UnBias project (http://unbias.wp.horizon.ac.uk/). Your participation will also contribute to policy recommendations to be presented to the UK minister for internet safety and security.
For more information and registration email Elvira.Perez@Nottingham.ac.uk
Members of the UnBias team and the Digital Wildfire project from the Universities of Nottingham and Oxford were delighted to participate in Mozilla Festival (MozFest), which took place over the weekend of 28th-29th October 2017. The festival saw thousands of members of the general public, of all ages and nationalities, pass through the doors of Ravensbourne College to engage in a festival that aimed to promote a healthy internet and a web for all. Issues of digital inclusion, web literacy and privacy and security were some of the key topics that were discussed at the event.
How do you take care on the Internet? What are the dangers of online fake news and filter bubbles? What are appropriate punishments for hate speech and trolling?
These are questions we asked members of the public during the Curiosity Carnival at the University of Oxford on September 30th. The Curiosity Carnival formed part of European Researchers’ Night, celebrated in cities across Europe. Oxford ran a city wide programme of activities across its universities, libraries, gardens and woods to give members of the public a chance to find out about real research projects and meet the people who conduct them.
It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the 2nd UnBias stakeholder workshop this June 19th (2017) at the Wellcome Collection in London, UK.
In this workshop we will build on the outcomes of the previous workshop, moving from the exploration of issues to a focus on solutions.
Aims of stakeholder workshops Our UnBias stakeholder workshops bring together individuals from a range of professional backgrounds who are likely to have differing perspectives on issues of fairness in relation to algorithmic practices and algorithmic design. The workshops are opportunities to share perspectives and seek answers to key project questions such as:
What constitutes a fair algorithm?
What kinds of (legal and ethical) responsibilities do internet companies have to ensure their algorithms produce results that are fair and without bias?
What factors might serve to enhance users’ awareness of, and trust in, the role of algorithms in their online experience?
How might concepts of fairness be built into algorithmic design?
The workshop discussions will be summarised in written reports and will be used to inform other activities in the project. This includes the production of policy recommendations and the development of a fairness toolkit consisting of three co-designed tools 1) a consciousness raising tool for young internet users to help them understand online environments; 2) an empowerment tool to help users navigate through online environments; 3) an empathy tool for online providers and other stakeholders to help them understand the concerns and rights of (young) internet users.
Structure of the 2nd stakeholders workshop The workshop will consist of two parts.
In the first part we will present a challenge to choose which out of four possible algorithms is most fair for a limited resources allocation task. We will do this under two transparency conditions: 1. when only observations of outcomes are known; 2. when the rational behind the algorithm is know. we will conclude this part with a discussion about the reasoning behind our algorithm choices.
Having been primed with some of the challenges for designing fair algorithmic decision systems, the second part will explore ideas and frameworks for an ’empathy’ tool to help algorithmic system designers identify possible sources of bias in their system design.
12:00-1:00pm Lunch/informal networking
1:00 – 1:15 Brief introduction with update about the UnBias project & outline of the workshop
Privacy/confidentiality and data protection
All the workshops will be audio recorded and transcribed. This in order to facilitate our analysis and ensure that we capture all the detail of what is discussed. We will remove or pseudonymise the names of participating individuals and organisations as well as other potentially identifying details. We will not reveal the identities of any participants (except at the workshops themselves) unless we are given explicit permission to do so. We will also ask all participants to observe the Chatham House rule – meaning that views expressed can be reported back elsewhere but that individual names and affiliations cannot.