Tech Talks: When Algorithms Decide Your Fate

Main Library

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  • Tech Talks

Join the University of Utah School of Computing and The City Library for a lecture series about the impact of computer science on our society and culture. Topics include algorithms and bias, the science of air quality, and technology and arts collaborations.



When Algorithms Decide Your Fate
Presented by Professor Suresh Venkatasubramanian

We are used to seeing algorithms being used to recommend books, music, or even what to buy. We might not be used to having them decide whether we get into college, get a job, get a loan, medical treatment, insurance, or even whether we are profiled, arrested, or imprisoned. And yet, algorithms already help to do all these things. Right now. In 2017. Is this a good thing? Is it terrible? Will algorithms help us move beyond human subjectivity? Or will they reinforce it under the guise of objectivity? Is there an ethics of algorithmic decision-making? I will give answers to these questions and more.

About the Speaker:
Suresh Venkatasubramanian is a Professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. When he isn’t pondering the problems of unfair and biased algorithms, he reads lots of sci-fi about our machine-enhanced future, which scares him even more. Venkatasubramanian led the development of justice.exe as a faculty advisor on When Machines Decide, a 2016–2017 Praxis Lab in the University of Utah Honors College. Justice.exe is a mobile game created to demonstrate the dangers and possible biases of machine learning algorithms in the criminal justice system.

School of Computing

Location: Main Library Auditorium

Contact Information: 801-524-8200