November Seminar II

“Deconstructing FAT: using memories to collectively explore implicit assumptions, values and context in practices of debiasing and discrimination-awareness ”

This talk will report on the two workshops in which we used the deconstructive-design method of ‘mind scripting’ for exploring hidden assumptions and our own situatedness in research practices on fairness, accountability and transparency. Research in fairness, accountability, and transparency (FAT) in socio-technical systems needs to take into account how practices of computing are entrenched with power relations in complex and multi-layered ways. Trying to disentangle the way in which structural discrimination and normative computational concepts and methods are intertwined, this frequently raises the question of WHO are the actors that shape technologies and research agendas -who gets to speak and to define bias, (un)fairness, and discrimination? “Deconstructing FAT” was the topic of two workshops, co-hosted with Doris Allhutter, that aimed at complicating this question by asking how “we” as researchers in FAT (often unknowingly) mobilize implicit assumptions, values and beliefs that reflect our own embeddedness in power relations, our disciplinary ways of thinking, and our historically, locally, and culturally-informed ways of solving computational problems or approaching our research. To explore these questions, we used the method of ‘mind scripting’, which is based in theories of discourse, ideology, memory and affect and aims at investigating hidden patterns of meaning making in written memories of the panelists (Doris Allhutter, 2012. Mind Scripting: A Method for Deconstructive Design. Science, Technology & Human Values 37(6), 684–707.) I look forward to discussing lessons that we learned with you on the way to learning about CyCAT and beyond!

Location: Online
Date and Time: 13/11/2020, 11:00 – 12:00 EET
Speaker: Dr. Bettina Berendt

Bettina Berendt is Professor for Internet and Society at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, Director of the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, Germany, and guest professor at KU Leuven, Belgium. She previously held positions as professor in the Artificial Intelligence group (Department of Computer Science at KU Leuven) and in the Information Systems group (School of Business and Economics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). Her research centres on data science and critical data science, including privacy/data protection, discrimination and fairness, and ethics and AI, with a focus on textual and web-related data.