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Showing posts from February, 2019

SheffDataForGood: using your computer skills to do good deeds

Data Science knowledge provides you with a set of skills that is very much in demand by large and small organisations, and can land you a lucrative job. However, it does not need to be all about the money. There are also opportunities to use these skills to help other people. One such opportunity is provided by the group Sheffield Data For Good. They recently organised a data hack to help Roundabout, a Sheffield charity that tackles youth homelessness, and have already scheduled a second event for the 9th of March.

I was at the first data hack on the 26th of January. Around 25 people, a mix of academics, data professionals and charity workers, came to the event. Amy Evans, data and finance coordinator from Roundabout, was at the event to explain the data that we were going to work on and what Roundabout was trying to understand about their data. I cannot provide details about the data due to data protection regulations, but what struck me the most was the atmosphere and the energy on …

Fairness, accountability and transparency in Machine Learning? Jo Bates reports back from ACM FAT* in Atlanta, USA

A couple of weeks ago I travelled to Atlanta, USA to attend ACM FAT* - an interdisciplinary conference that addresses issues of Fairness, Accountability and Transparency in Machine Learning. Officially, I was there on the hunt for potential papers and authors to invite to submit their work to Online Information Review. However, the FAT* field is also closely related to my research interests around the politics of data and algorithms, and my teaching on the Information School’s MSc Data Science. I was keen to check out what was happening in the FAT* community, and feed my findings back into my teaching and into two new projects I am working on in this field: CYCAT & supervising a new PhD student – Ruth Beresford – whose research will investigate algorithmic bias in collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions.
I was privileged to hear a number of great papers – the best of which engaged critically with issues of social context and justice. My two favourite papers which …