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THE TYRANNY OF DATA?

THE BRIGHT AND DARK SIDES OF
DATA-DRIVEN ALGORITHMIC DECISION
MAKING FOR PUBLIC POLICY

Nuria Oliver

Vodafone

Amphi - Richelieu

November, 22

10:00h

The unprecedented availability of large-scale human behavioral data is profoundly changing the world we live in. Researchers, companies, governments, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and also citizen groups are actively experimenting, innovating and adapting algorith­mic decision-making tools to understand global patterns of human behavior and provide decision support to tackle problems of societal importance. In my talk, I will focus on social good decision-making algorithms, i.e. algorithms strongly influencing decision-making and resource optimiza­tion of public goods, such as public health, safety, access to finance and fair employment. Through an analysis of specific use cases and approaches, I will highlight both the positive opportunities that are created through data­ driven algorithmic decision-making and the potential negative consequences that practitioners should be aware of and address in order to truly realize the potential of this emergent field. I will elaborate on the need for these al­gorithms to provide transparency and accountability, preserve privacy and be tested and evaluated in context, i.e. by means of living lab approaches involving citizens. I will discuss the requirements which would make it possible to leverage the predictive power of data-driven human behavior analysis while ensuring transparency, accountability, and civic participation with the goal to have positive social impact.

Publications related to my talk can be found here:

- "Fair, transparent and accountable algorithmic decision-making processes" Lepri, B., Oliver, N., Letouze, E., Pentland, A. and Vinck, P. Springer Journal of Philosophy and Technology, 2017

- "The Tyranny of Data?: The Bright and Dark Sides of Data-driven Decision-making for Social Good" in "Transparent data mining for Big and Small data" Springer, 2016