Automating Racism

Image by Sergio Cerrato from Pixabay

Writing in Technology Review, Deborah Raji explains how data sets assembled in contexts where white supremacy is common can carry forward the racist attitudes contained in the data. When such data sets are used as the basis for algorithms that support or guide action, the resulting action carries the racist practices forward. Raji cites the example of predictive policing which aims to use data to send police to potential locations of crimes before they happen. She concludes by discussing some strategies to correct the problem as we move forward to expand the use of data to guide action.

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