From search engine results to credit scores, software orders and weights hundreds of variables into clean, simple interfaces, taking us from question to answer in a fraction of a second. But the rise of big data and predictive analytics in media and finance has alarmed many academics, activists, journalists and legal experts. Three aspects of algorithmic ordering of information have provoked particular scrutiny. The data used may be inaccurate or inappropriate. Algorithmic modeling may be biased or limited. And the uses of algorithms are still opaque in many critical sectors.
Policymakers must address each of these problems, but face two major obstacles. First, how can regulators apply expert judgment given rapidly changing technology and business practices? Second, when is human review essential-and when will controversies over one algorithmic ordering merely result in a second computational analysis of a contested matter? Focusing on recent controversies over the "right to be forgotten" and alternative credit scoring (such as proposals to base loan approvals on qualities of the applicant's social network contacts), this talk will propose reforms essential to humane automation of new media and banking.
This event marks the 2015-16 launch of the MSc Media and Communications (Data and Society).
Frank Pasquale (@FrankPasquale) is Professor of Law at the University of Maryland and author of The Black Box Society.
Evelyn Ruppert (@ESRuppert) is Professor in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Dr Alison Powell (@a_b_powell) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.
The Department of Media and Communications (@MediaLSE) undertakes outstanding and innovative research and provides excellent research-based graduate programmes for the study of media and communications. The Department was established in 2003 and in 2014 our research was ranked number 1 in the most recent UK research evaluation, with 91% of research outputs ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.
Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEDataSociety
View a summary of this event in tweets via Storify, The Promise (and Threat) of Algorithmic Accountability.
Podcast & Video
A podcast and video of this event is available to download from The Promise (and Threat) of Algorithmic Accountability
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