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Join the Goergen Institute for Data Science and the Department of Philosophy for Fairness in Algorithmic Services, with Allison Koenecke, Assistant Professor of Information Science at Cornell University. This research talk will be held on Friday, December 1st from 12-1pm in Wegmans Hall, Room 1400 (auditorium). There is a Zoom option available to virtual attendees, Zoom details are included below.

Abstract: Algorithmically guided decisions are becoming increasingly prevalent and, if left unchecked, can amplify pre-existing societal biases. In this talk, I use modern computational tools to examine the equity of decision-making in three complex systems: automated speech recognition, online advertising, and recommendation systems. Furthermore, I will propose processes to ameliorate demographic-based disparate impact arising from decisions made by online platforms. First, I demonstrate large racial disparities in the performance of popular commercial speech-to-text systems developed by big tech companies, a pattern likely stemming from a lack of diversity in the data used to train the systems. Second, I present a methodological framework for online advertisers to determine a demographically equitable allocation of individuals being shown ads for SNAP (food stamp) benefits.  In particular, I discuss how to formulate fair decisions considering budget-constrained trade-offs between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking SNAP applicants, and present survey results revealing greater-than-expected consensus on fairness preferences in budget allocation. Third, I consider algorithmic fairness through the lens of human biases in data generation that is used to power recommendation decisions, in the context of diverse annotators worldwide hired to perform video game labeling tasks.

Bio: Allison Koenecke is an Assistant Professor of Information Science at Cornell University. Her research applies computational methods, such as machine learning and causal inference, to study societal inequities in domains from online services to public health. Koenecke is regularly quoted as an expert on disparities in automated speech-to-text systems. She previously held a postdoctoral researcher role at Microsoft Research and received her PhD from Stanford's Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering.

Zoom Information:

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Webinar ID: 974 5246 0244

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