21 posts
The Crime Machine

I’m behind on my podcast listening (well, behind in everything tbh), but Reply All covered the flaws of CompStat, a data system originally employed by the NYPD to track crime and hold officers accountable: But some of these chiefs started to figure out, wait a minute, the person who’s in charge of actually keeping track of the crime in my neighborhood is me. And so if they couldn’t make crime...

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Minimizing discrimination in machine learning

From Google Research, a look at how discrimination in machine learning can lead to poor results and what might be done to combat: Here we discuss “threshold classifiers,” a part of some machine learning systems that is critical to issues of discrimination. A threshold classifier essentially makes a yes/no decision, putting things in one category or another. We look at how these classifiers work, ways they can potentially be unfair,...

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Discrimination algorithms

Claire Cain Miller for the Upshot on when algorithms discriminate: There is a widespread belief that software and algorithms that rely on data are objective. But software is not free of human influence. Algorithms are written and maintained by people, and machine learning algorithms adjust what they do based on people’s behavior. As a result, say researchers in computer science, ethics and law, algorithms can reinforce human prejudices. I bring...

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