bias

12 posts
Virtual proctoring simulation

Many colleges use virtual proctoring software in an effort to reduce cheating on tests that students take virtually at home. But the software relies on facial recognition and assumptions about the proper testing environment. YR Media breaks down the flaws and even provides a simulation so that you can see what it’s like. Tags: bias, privacy, proctoring, YR Media

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Simulating how just a little gender bias in the workplace can lead to big effects up the chain

Yuhao Du, Jessica Nordell, and Kenneth Joseph used simulations to study the effects of small gender biases at entry level up to executive level. It doesn’t take much to skew the distribution. For NYT Opinion, Yaryna Serkez shows the simulation in action with moving bubbles and stacked area charts for each work level. The simulation imagines a company where female performance is undervalued by 3 percent. Each dot represents an...

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✚ Looking at What’s Not There – The Process 140

Welcome to issue #140 of The Process, the newsletter for FlowingData members where we look closer at how charts are made. I’m Nathan Yau, and this week I’m curious about what you can glean from what you can’t see in the data. Become a member for access to this — plus tutorials, courses, and guides.

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Algorithm leads to arrest of the wrong person

Even though there was supposedly a person in the decision-making process and a surveillance photo wasn’t actually Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, he still ended up handcuffed in front of his own home. Kashmir Hill reporting for The New York Times: This is what technology providers and law enforcement always emphasize when defending facial recognition: It is only supposed to be a clue in the case, not a smoking gun. Before arresting...

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Face depixelizer with machine learning, and some assumptions

In crime shows, they often have this amazing tool that turns a low-resolution, pixelated image of a person’s face to a high-resolution, highly accurate picture of the perp. Face Depixelizer is a step towards that with machine learning — except it seems to assume that everyone looks the same. There might still be some limitations. Tags: bias, face, pixels

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Myth of the impartial machine

In its inaugural issue, Parametric Press describes how bias can easily come about when working with data: Even big data are susceptible to non-sampling errors. A study by researchers at Google found that the United States (which accounts for 4% of the world population) contributed over 45% of the data for ImageNet, a database of more than 14 million labelled images. Meanwhile, China and India combined contribute just 3% of...

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Based on your morals, a debate with a computer to expose you to other points of view

Collective Debate from the MIT Media Lab gauges your moral compass with a survey and then tries to “debate” with you about gender bias using counterpoints from the opposite side of the spectrum. The goal isn’t to be right. Instead, it’s to try to understand the other side. At the end, you see how you compare to others. Tags: bias, morality

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Data bias at every step

Lena Groeger for ProPublica describes when the designer shows up in the design, not just in the visualization part but also in collection, selection, and aggregation. Our perspective always comes to play. The effects may be subtle, but if we pour so much of ourselves into the stories we tell, the data we gather, the visuals we design, the webpages we build, then we should take responsibility for them. And...

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Millennial cherry-picking

Emily Bell highlights confirmation bias in articles recently suggesting that more millennial men pine for the days when men worked and women stayed at home, based on results from the General Social Survey. The GSS surveys are pretty small – about 2,000-3,000 per wave – so once you split by sample, and then split by age, and then exclude the older millennials (age 26-34) who don’t show any negative trend...

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Using information graphics to calibrate bias

Our daily lives are full of bias. We make assumptions about how the world works, why complex systems do what they do, and how precise measurements really are. That leads to a skewed view and sometimes misinformed decisions. Lena Groeger for Propublica describes how information graphics might play a role in providing a more accurate picture, in the particular the ones that engage readers with data. You may have noticed...

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