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The Promise (and Threat) of Algorithmic Accountability

Department of Media and Communications public lecture

Date: Tuesday 26 January 2016
Time:  6.30-8pm
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Frank Pasquale
Respondent: Professor Evelyn Ruppert
Chair: Dr Alison Powell 

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

After this event LSESU RAG - the fundraising arm of the Students' Union will be collecting money for the 3 charities they have nominated for this academic year. These are St Mungo's BroadwayPAPYRUS and Farm Africa. We encourage those attending this free LSE public event to give as generously as you can to support these three worthwhile causes.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at events@lse.ac.uk or 0207 955 6043. 

Podcasts & Videos are now available online for many events from the 2016 LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 'Utopias' which took place from Monday 22 - Saturday 27 February. LSE’s 8th Literary Festival explored the power of dreams and the imagination and the importance of idealism, dissidence, escapism and nostalgia, as well as the benefits of looking at the world in different ways with speakers including David Aaronovitch, AC Grayling, Robert Harris, Tom Holland, Margaret Macmillan, Anna Pavord and Zoe Williams.

Storify

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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CPD

This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).

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