Nav: Home

Discrimination, lack of diversity, & societal risks of data mining highlighted in big data

June 27, 2017

New Rochelle, June 27, 2017--A special issue of Big Data presents a series of insightful articles that focus on Big Data and Social and Technical Trade-Offs. Despite the dramatic growth in big data affecting many areas of research, industry, and society, there are risks associated with the design and use of data-driven systems. Among these are issues of discrimination, diversity, and bias, which are discussed in the papers in the special issue organized by Guest Editors Solon Barocas, Princeton University, danah boyd, Microsoft Research and Data & Society Research Institute, Sorelle Friedler, Haverford College, and Hanna Wallach, Microsoft Research and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Big Data is a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The special issue is available on the Big Data website.

Coauthors Bettina Berendt, University of Leuven, Belgium and Soren Preibusch, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, U.K., focus on how and why discrimination can be a problem with big data and decisions made by humans based on data-mining. In the article "Toward Accountable Discrimination-Aware Data Mining: The Importance of Keeping the Human in the Loop -- and Under the Looking Glass," the researchers present the results of a large-scale experiment in which human subjects described their reasoning for deciding whether or not a loan request should be granted. The authors offer strategies for making decision-making "discrimination-aware in an accountable way".

In the article entitled "Diversity in Big Data: A Review," coauthors Marina Drosou, Evaggelia Pitoura, University of Ioannina, Greece, HV Jagadish, University of Michigan, and Julia Stoyanovich, Drexel University, emphasize the risks big data may pose to society and individuals if it fails to account for diversity and potential discrimination. The authors discuss connections between diversity and fairness in big data systems research using specific applications such as the use of big data in matchmaking, crowdsourcing, and search and content recommendation.

Gina Neff, PhD, University of Oxford, U.K., Anissa Tanweer, Brittany Fiore-Gartland, PhD, and Laura Osburn, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, discuss the multitude of challenges that confront data scientists and how they involve ethical issues in model development. In the article entitled "Critique and Contribute: A Practice-Based Framework for Improving Critical Data Studies and Data Science," the researchers highlight the importance of common criticisms of current data science. They present a strategy for addressing them, showing how to incorporate ethical issues in data science applications.

"This issue is a landmark for all data scientists," says Big Data Editor-in-Chief Vasant Dhar, Professor at the Stern School of Business and the Center for Data Science at New York University. "It is important for data scientists to be aware of the broader social and ethical aspects of their work, beginning with a critical analysis of the origins of data and issues such as the potential for creating further bias and discrimination in models derived from the data. It is important to understand how and why data were created, what they include and exclude, and when they might lead to systems that create undesirable consequences for society." He continues, "in this age of big data and automated decision-making systems, where there is often no human in the loop, it is important that we design such systems to take into account ethical and other social considerations associated with their use."
-end-
About the Journal

Big Data, published quarterly online with open access options and in print, facilitates and supports the efforts of researchers, analysts, statisticians, business leaders, and policymakers to improve operations, profitability, and communications within their organizations. Spanning a broad array of disciplines focusing on novel big data technologies, policies, and innovations, the Journal brings together the community to address the challenges and discover new breakthroughs and trends living within this information. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Big Data (http://www.liebertpub.com/big) website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, Journal of Computational Biology, New Space, and 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's more than 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website. (http://www.liebertpub.com/)

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Related Discrimination Articles:

Sexual minorities continue to face discrimination, despite increasing support
Despite increasing support for the rights of people in the LGBTQ+ community, discrimination remains a critical and ongoing issue for this population, according to researchers.
Fathers may protect their LGB kids from health effects of discrimination
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who report being discriminated against but who feel close to their fathers have lower levels of C-reactive protein -- a measure of inflammation and cardiovascular risk -- than those without support from their fathers, finds a new study from researchers at NYU College of Global Public Health.
Uncovering the roots of discrimination toward immigrants
Immigrants are often encouraged to assimilate into their new culture as a way of reducing conflict with their host societies, to appear less threatening to the culture and national identity of the host population.
Using artificial intelligence to detect discrimination
A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool for detecting unfair discrimination -- such as on the basis of race or gender -- has been created by researchers at Penn State and Columbia University.
Evidence of hiring discrimination against nonwhite groups in 9 countries examined
A new meta-analysis on hiring discrimination by Northwestern University sociologist Lincoln Quillian and his colleagues finds evidence of pervasive hiring discrimination against all nonwhite groups in all nine countries they examined.
Perceived discrimination associated with well-being in adults with poor vision
This study of nearly 7,700 men and women 50 or older in England looked at how common perceived discrimination was among those with visual impairment and how that was associated with emotional well-being.
Discrimination against older people needs attention, study says
Ever cracked a joke about old people? It might seem funny, but in a world where the population aged 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups, ageism is no laughing matter, says a University of Alberta researcher.
Workplace discrimination: if they don't fit, they always call in sick?
Prof. Florian Kunze (University of Konstanz, Cluster of Excellence 'The Politics of Inequality') and Max Reinwald (University of Konstanz, Graduate School for Decision Sciences) investigate workplace behavior of employees who are in the minority in their teams.
Discrimination may affect adolescents' sleep quality
In a Child Development study of daily diary descriptions of discrimination by minority adolescents, experiencing discrimination during the day was associated with compromised sleep quality that night, as well as feelings of greater daytime dysfunction and sleepiness the following day.
Racial discrimination increases activism in black young adults
A recent study finds that experiencing racial discrimination makes black teens and young adults more likely to engage in social and political activism on issues that are important to black communities.
More Discrimination News and Discrimination Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.