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Calling Out Automated Racism

Fletcher students and alumni share research into how algorithmic biases drive inequality.

Algorithms are the building blocks of an inter-connected world. Intelligent systems controlled by algorithms are deployed in a vast range of sectors including healthcare, finance, criminal justice, police departments, insurance and advertising. Our lives are increasingly impacted by these algorithms that determine what news we see, where police are deployed to patrol, who is stopped by police, medical care delivery, how much insurance we pay, prison sentencing decisions, and what skin color triggers an automatic water faucet. As calls for anti-racist policies and practices continue to grow globally, examining these impacts is more critical now than ever.

To begin tackling this issue, The Fletcher School's Hitachi Center and Africana Club recently hosted a conversation with Fletcher students about how algorithmic biases perpetuate systemic inequality – and how we can reimagine these technologies as enablers of civil liberties in the future.

Presenters included Hitachi Center Director, Assistant Professor Carolyn Gideon, recent alumna Ellysse Dick (F20) and current Fletcher students David Mbai (F21) and Sameer Boray (F21) as they discussed their own research looking at 1) The implications of technology - and specifically social media - on human rights, or "digital rights,"  2) Social media algorithms and the distribution of news, and 3) Algorithmic accountability, respectively.

In their discussion, they highlight opportunities for their peers and the broader international community to amplify the voices behind this movement and make their own contributions. 

Watch the full conversation below: 

 

Automated Racism - How Algorithmic Bias Drives Inequality

Fletcher's Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs, in partnership with Fletcher's Africana Club, present a conversation with Fletcher students about how algorithmic bias perpetuates systemic inequality – and how we can reimagine these technologies as enablers of civil liberties in the future. Hosted by Hitachi Center Director Prof. Carolyn Gideon, presenters Sameer Boray (F21), Ellysse Dick (F20), and David Mbai (F21) discuss their own research and highlight opportunities for their peers and the broader international community to amplify the voices behind the movement for anti-racist policies and practice, and make their own contributions. This event will be the first in a series of conversations on technology and social justice over the course of the coming academic year.

Posted by The Fletcher School at Tufts University on Friday, July 31, 2020
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