2120
Using Deep Learning and Google Street View to Estimate the Demographic Makeup of the US
The United States spends more than $1B each year on initiatives such as the American
Community Survey (ACS), a labor-intensive door-to-door study that measures
statistics relating to race, gender, education, occupation, unemployment, and other
demographic factors 1
. Although a comprehensive source of data, the lag between
demographic changes and their appearance in the ACS can exceed half a decade. As
digital imagery becomes ubiquitous and machine vision techniques improve, automated
data analysis may provide a cheaper and faster alternative. Here, we present a method
that determines socioeconomic trends from 50 million images of street scenes, gathered
in 200 American cities by Google Street View cars. Using deep learning-based
computer vision techniques, we determined the make, model, and year of all motor
vehicles encountered in particular neighborhoods. Data from this census of motor vehicles,
which enumerated 22M automobiles in total (8% of all automobiles in the US), was
used to accurately estimate income, race, education, and voting patterns, with singleprecinct
resolution. (The average US precinct contains approximately 1000 people.)
The resulting associations are surprisingly simple and powerful. For instance, if the
1
arXiv:1702.06683v2 [cs.CV] 2 Mar 2017
number of sedans encountered during a 15-minute drive through a city is higher than
the number of pickup trucks, the city is likely to vote for a Democrat during the next
Presidential election (88% chance); otherwise, it is likely to vote Republican (82%).
Our results suggest that automated systems for monitoring demographic trends may
effectively complement labor-intensive approaches, with the potential to detect trends
with fine spatial resolution, in close to real time.
census  demographics  AI 
yesterday
Where Have All the Workers Gone - Boston Fed.pdf - Google Drive
The labor force participation rate in the U.S. has declined since 2007 primarily because of population aging and ongoing trends that preceded the recession. The participation rate has evolved differently, and for different reasons, across demographic groups. A rise in school enrollment has largely offset declining participation for young workers since the 1990s. Participation in the labor force has been declining for prime age men for decades, and about half of prime age men who are not in the labor force (NLF) may have a serious health condition that is a barrier to work. Nearly half of prime age NLF men take pain medication on a daily basis, and in nearly two-thirds of cases they take prescription pain medication. The labor force participation rate has stopped rising for cohorts of women born after 1960. Prime age men who are out of the labor force report that they experience notably low levels of emotional well-being throughout their days and that they derive relatively little meaning from their daily activities. Employed and NLF women, by contrast, report similar levels of subjective well-being. Over the past decade retirements have increased by about the same amount as aggregate labor force participation has declined. Continued population aging is expected to reduce the labor force participation rate by 0.2 to 0.3 percentage point per year over the next decade. A meaningful rise in labor force participation will require a reversal in the secular trends affecting various demographic groups, and perhaps immigration reform.
labor  work 
2 days ago
#StandingRockSyllabus – NYC Stands with Standing Rock
This syllabus project contributes to the already substantial work of the Sacred Stones Camp, Red Warrior Camp, and the Oceti Sakowin Camp to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens traditional and treaty-guaranteed Great Sioux Nation territory. The Pipeline violates the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and 1851 signed by the United States, as well as recent United States environmental regulations. The potentially 1,200-mile pipeline presents the same environmental and human dangers as the Keystone XL pipeline, and would transport hydraulically fractured (fracked) crude oil from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota to connect with existing pipelines in Illinois. While the pipeline was originally planned upriver from the predominantly white border town of Bismarck, North Dakota, the new route passes immediately above the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, crossing Lake Oahe, tributaries of Lake Sakakawea, the Missouri River twice, and the Mississippi River once. Now is the time to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock against catastrophic environmental damage.
politics  syllabus  nativeamericans  culture 
6 days ago
How (Not) to Buy an Academic – Casey Fiesler – Medium
How (Not) to Buy an Academic – Casey Fiesler – Medium
Sadly this is not the life of a university professor. (“Sport of Tycoons” by Carl Banks, Flickr /CC-BY-NC-ND) Here’s a scary thought: “Google has been paying…
Instapaper 
8 days ago
A Whimsical Wordsmith Charts a Course Beyond Twitter - The New York Times
A Whimsical Wordsmith Charts a Course Beyond Twitter
T here are a few things we should clear up about the Twitter humorist known as “jomny sun.” Although sun’s Twitter bio describes him as an “aliebn confuesed…
Instapaper 
8 days ago
Save the Census - The New York Times
Opinion | Save the Census
A census bureau worker in Houston in 2010. Johnny Hanson/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press An administration uninterested in staffing federal agencies, at…
Instapaper 
9 days ago
Facebook’s Secret Censorship Rules Protect White Men from Hate Speech But Not Black Children - ProPublica
Facebook’s Secret Censorship Rules Protect White Men from Hate Speech But Not Black Children
In the wake of a terrorist attack in London earlier this month, a U.S. congressman wrote a Facebook post in which he called for the slaughter of “radicalized”…
Instapaper 
29 days ago
The spy who pwned me | Limn
The spy who pwned me
Issue Number Eight: Hacks, Leaks, and Breaches How did we get to state-sponsored hacking? Matt Jones traces the legal authorities and technical capacities that…
Instapaper 
4 weeks ago
Dylann Roof, 4chan, and the New Online Racism
Dylann Roof, 4chan, and the New Online Racism
4chan’s trolling culture didn’t just birth Guy Fawkes hacktivism—it also inspired the racist and neo-fascist sites where the Charleston terrorist lurked. Photo…
Instapaper 
4 weeks ago
Social Cooling
If you feel you are being watched,
you change your behavior.

Big Data is supercharging this effect.
This could limit your desire to take risks or exercise free speech.

Over the long term these 'chilling effects' could 'cool down' society.
bigdata  censorship  privacy  surveillance 
4 weeks ago
Our problem isn’t ‘fake news.’ Our problems are trust and manipulation.
Our problem isn’t ‘fake news.’ Our problems are trust and manipulation.
“Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.” — Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928) “Fake news” is merely a symptom of greater social ills. Our…
Instapaper 
6 weeks ago
To Fight Police Violence, Demand Digital Sanctuary | Civicist
To Fight Police Violence, Demand Digital Sanctuary | Civicist
Editor’s note: Malkia Cyril gave this moving talk at Personal Democracy Forum 2017. The text is reprinted here in full, and you can watch the video of her talk…
Instapaper 
6 weeks ago
Über die Meme der Produktion(Matt Goerzen)
Notes Toward the Memes of Production (Matt Goerzen)
View of Barbara Streisand’s Malibu residence If affect is one factor playing an outsize role in the rise of populism, media strategy stands as another – with…
Instapaper 
6 weeks ago
Mapping and quantifying political information warfare – SHARE LAB
Mapping and quantifying political information warfare
”Throughout the history communication and information have been fundamental sources of power and counter-power, of domination and social change.This is because…
Instapaper 
7 weeks ago
The Religious Origins of Fake News and “Alternative Facts” | Religion Dispatches
The Religious Origins of Fake News and "Alternative Facts"
Facebook 17k Twitter Google+ Share Perhaps one of the strangest instances of fake news that proliferated in the final months of the 2016 election was the…
Instapaper 
7 weeks ago
Secret Algorithms Threaten the Rule of Law - MIT Technology Review
Algorithms that predict recidivism among convicts are troubling for many reasons
P redicting and shaping what you will do next—whether as a shopper, worker, or voter—is big business for data-driven firms. But should their methods also inform…
Instapaper 
7 weeks ago
America's militia movement found its next generation of soldiers: teenage 4chan trolls
American militias have found a new pool of teenage recruits on the internet’s most unsavory website
On a small hill in Boston Common, a crowd of black-masked anti-fascists shouted taunts down the grassy slope toward hundreds of far-right demonstrators gathered…
Instapaper 
8 weeks ago
www.theguardian.com
Hiding in plain sight: how the 'alt-right' is weaponizing irony to spread fascism
Pepe, a symbol used by the ‘alt right’, in character as Donald Trump.Photograph: Twitter E arlier this month, hundreds of “alt-right” protesters occupied the…
Instapaper 
9 weeks ago
A guide to 21st-century propaganda: echo chambers, fake news, bots, big data, and the science of persuasion — Quartz
21st-century propaganda: A guide to interpreting and confronting the dark arts of persuasion
“There are two kinds of propaganda,” wrote Aldous Huxley in 1958 in Brave New World Revisited , a retrospective on his famous novel: rational propaganda in…
Instapaper 
9 weeks ago
The Public Square Belongs To 4Chan
The Public Square Belongs to 4Chan
Share Share On January 30 , 10 days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the actor and artist Shia LaBeouf sent an aggrieved email to the American Civil…
Instapaper 
9 weeks ago
Connecting the Dots: Political Microtargeting and the Russia Investigation | Just Security
Connecting the Dots: Political Microtargeting and the Russia Investigation
In many respects, we’re all in the dark when it comes to the ongoing Russia investigations. Behind closed doors, what are congressional and FBI investigators…
Instapaper 
9 weeks ago
The Apophenic Machine — Real Life
The Apophenic Machine — Real Life
Think of a network graph. A simple one with just a few nodes and connecting lines spidering out. It makes intuitive sense. Even if it’s one of those brightly…
Instapaper 
10 weeks ago
White Male Terrorists Are an Issue We Should Discuss | Teen Vogue
It's Time to Talk About What's Radicalizing White Male Terrorists
In this op-ed, writer Lincoln Blades explores why America needs to address the presence of white male extremists. Since September 11, 2001, preventing terrorism…
Instapaper 
11 weeks ago
Fear of Diversity Made People More Likely to Vote Trump | The Nation
Fear of Diversity Made People More Likely to Vote Trump
Donald Trump supporters pose with a Confederate flag at a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke) T he 2016 presidential election will…
Instapaper 
11 weeks ago
Online Hate Speech: What the Faith Community Can Do
Online Hate Speech: What the Faith Community Can Do
During the 2016 election, many of us were dismayed to see a surge in hate speech around the country — particularly online. We’ve come from a time when social…
Instapaper 
11 weeks ago
Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action - Shorenstein Center
Recent shifts in the media ecosystem raise new concerns about the vulnerability of democratic societies to fake news and the public’s limited ability to contain it. Fake news as a form of misinformation benefits from the fast pace that information travels in today’s media ecosystem, in particular across social media platforms. An abundance of information sources online leads individuals to rely heavily on heuristics and social cues in order to determine the credibility of information and to shape their beliefs, which are in turn extremely difficult to correct or change. The relatively small, but constantly changing, number of sources that produce misinformation on social media offers both a challenge for real-time detection algorithms and a promise for more targeted socio-technical interventions.
manipulation  news 
11 weeks ago
Information Operations and Facebook (by Facebook)
In brief, we have had to expand our security focus from traditional abusive behavior, such as account hacking, malware, spam and financial scams, to include more subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people. These are complicated issues and our responses will constantly evolve, but we wanted to be transparent about our approach. The following sections explain our understanding of these threats and challenges and what we are doing about them.
manipulation  facebook 
12 weeks ago
The business of hate media – Data for Democracy – Medium
The business of hate media – Data for Democracy – Medium
How Google and Facebook make online harassment and disinformation both possible and profitable Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center announced a suit they…
Instapaper 
april 2017
Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance
Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance
I came to the United States as a six year old kid from Eastern Europe. One of my earliest memories of that time was the Safeway supermarket, an astonishing…
Instapaper 
april 2017
How a Christian movement is growing rapidly in the midst of religious decline
How a Christian movement is growing rapidly in the midst of religious decline
In August of 2011, more than 30,000 people cheered wildly as the then U.S. presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry – now secretary of energy in the…
Instapaper 
april 2017
Meet Silicon Valley's Secretive Alt-Right Followers | Mother Jones
I investigated the role of "alt-techies" in the extremist movement emboldened by Trump.

JOSH HARKINSON
altright  manipulation 
april 2017
How Do We Defeat Online Trolls? - The Atlantic
Trolls Are Winning the Internet, Technologists Say
I’m going to confess an occasional habit of mine, which is petty, and which I would still enthusiastically recommend to anyone who frequently encounters trolls,…
Instapaper 
april 2017
Pre-trial algorithms deserve a fresh look, study suggests
Pre-trial algorithms deserve a fresh look, study suggests
Photo by Karen Neoh W hat if a predictive tool used at the moment of arraignment could simultaneously reduce the number of people sent to jail before trial,…
Instapaper 
march 2017
Kevin Mitnick, the New York Times, and the Media's Conception of the Hacker by Molly Sauter :: SSRN
The New York Times coverage of Kevin Mitnick (47 articles from 1994 to 2012) reflects the changing popular conception of hackers, as well as legitimatizing and solidifying those evolving images and stereotypes. In this chapter, I examine how over the course of the this coverage the term "hacker" shifts from an identifier of a particular technological subculture to a stand-in term for criminality. Kevin Mitnick is most consistently referred to as a "hacker" throughout the New York Times coverage, but from 1994 to 2012, the use of "criminal" terms to modify "hacker" terms decreases, until eventually "hacker" terms are used a pure synonyms for
"criminal" terms, as well as referencing general hacking culture in contexts where criminality is assumed. This transition is reinforced by the introduction of the term "ex-hacker" following Mitnick's release from prison as a theoretically rehabilitated member of society.
The "hacker equals criminal" move is reinforced by a variety of persistent metaphors, characterizations, narratives, and other repeated references that appear throughout the New York Times coverage. Following Lakoff (1980), I show how the repeated use of metaphors of "house and home" to describe Mitnick's illegal acts characterize the actions of hackers as a threat to individuals, not just states or corporations. The news articles also repeatedly describe Mitnick and the hacker community at large in the context of anti-social behavior, insanity, addiction, and the cultural narrative of juvenile delinquency, resulting in a persistent association of "hacking" with bad or broken actors. This aspect in particular follows conclusions previously made by James Aho (1984) and Helen Nissenbaum (2004) on the use of certain associations to create social enemies and out-groups.
hacking  journalism 
march 2017
Bias in Online Freelance Marketplaces: Evidence from TaskRabbit and Fiverr
Online freelancing marketplaces have grown quickly in recent years. In theory, these sites offer workers the ability to earn money without the obligations and potential social
biases associated with traditional employment frameworks. In this paper, we study whether two prominent online freelance marketplaces—TaskRabbit and Fiverr— are impacted by racial and gender bias. From these two platforms, we collect 13,500 worker profiles and gather information about workers’ gender, race, customer reviews, ratings, and positions in search rankings. In both marketplaces, we find evidence of bias: we find that perceived gender and race are significantly correlated with worker evaluations, which could harm the employment opportunities afforded to the workers. We hope that our study fuels more research on the presence and implications of discrimination in online environments.
labor  bias  discrimination 
march 2017
CTRL-ALT-DELETE The origins and ideology of the Alternative Right
Fantastic white paper styled account of the alt-right and other conservative movements.
altright  politics  manipulation 
march 2017
302 Found
How Machines Make Sense of Big Data: an Introduction to Clustering Algorithms
Done? While there’s not necessarily a “correct” answer here, it’s most likely you split the bugs into four clusters . The spiders in one cluster, the pair of…
Instapaper 
march 2017
The Darkness at the End of the Tunnel: Artificial Intelligence and Neoreaction | Viewpoint Magazine
The Darkness at the End of the Tunnel: Artificial Intelligence and Neoreaction
Siena Cathe­dral as seen through Google’s neu­ral net­work Deep Dreams of Tomorrow Sci­ence fic­tion tells us that a change in a past event, caused by the…
Instapaper 
march 2017
Dissecting Trump’s Most Rabid Online Following | FiveThirtyEight
Dissecting Trump’s Most Rabid Online Following
r/ The Donald – + – r/ politics r/ uncensorednews r/ conspiracy = = = r/ fatpeoplehate r/ HillaryForPrison r/ CFB Editor’s note: The story below contains two…
Instapaper 
march 2017
The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death - The New Yorker
The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death
Fiverr, an online freelance marketplace that promotes itself as being for “the lean entrepreneur,” recently attracted ire for an ad campaign called “In Doers We…
Instapaper 
march 2017
Trolling Scholars Debunk the Idea That the Alt-Right’s Shitposters Have Magic Powers - Motherboard
Asserting that alt-right "trolls" were a deciding factor in Trump’s victory minimizes the broader trends that amplified their influence.

WHITNEY PHILLIPS, JESSICA BEYER, AND GABRIELLA COLEMAN
Mar 22 2017, 11:56am
altright  manipulation  propaganda  4chan 
march 2017
Anil Dash — Tech's Moral Reckoning - | On Being
A wildly popular blogger, tech entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley influencer, Anil Dash has been an early activist for moral imagination in the digital sphere — an aspiration which has now become an urgent task. We explore the unprecedented power, the learning curves ahead, and how we can all contribute to the humane potential of technology in this moment.
ethics  tech 
march 2017
Yes, anyone can become an Internet troll | Stanford News
Yes, anyone can become an Internet troll | Stanford News
Internet trolls, by definition, are disruptive, combative and often unpleasant with their offensive or provocative online posts designed to disturb and upset.…
Instapaper 
march 2017
www.theguardian.com
Artificial intelligence is ripe for abuse, tech executive warns: 'a fascist's dream'
The Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Noting the role corporations played with past authoritarian regimes, Crawford invoked the example of IBM’s role in enabling…
Instapaper 
march 2017
The Russian "Firehose of Falsehood" Propaganda Model: Why It Might Work and Options to Counter It | RAND
Since its 2008 incursion into Georgia (if not before), there has been a remarkable evolution in Russia's approach to propaganda. The country has effectively employed new dissemination channels and messages in support of its 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula, its ongoing involvement in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and its antagonism of NATO allies. The Russian propaganda model is high-volume and multichannel, and it disseminates messages without regard for the truth. It is also rapid, continuous, and repetitive, and it lacks commitment to consistency. Although these techniques would seem to run counter to the received wisdom for successful information campaigns, research in psychology supports many of the most successful aspects of the model. Furthermore, the very factors that make the firehose of falsehood effective also make it difficult to counter. Traditional counterpropaganda approaches will likely be inadequate in this context. More effective solutions can be found in the same psychology literature that explains the surprising success of the Russian propaganda model and its messages.
propaganda 
march 2017
Ctrl-Alt-Delete: The origins and ideology of the Alternative Right | Political Research Associates
This report is excerpted from Matthew N. Lyons’s forthcoming book, Insurgent Supremacists: The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State and Empire, to be published by PM Press and Kersplebedeb Publishing. This report is also featured in Ctrl-Alt-Delete: An Antifascist Report on the Alternative Right, which is now available for pre-order.
altright  propaganda 
march 2017
Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds - The New Yorker
Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight. Credit Illustration by Gérard DuBois In 1975,…
Instapaper 
march 2017
www.theguardian.com
A right to repair: why Nebraska farmers are taking on John Deere and Apple
Farmer and technician Kyle Schwarting, from Ceresco, Nebraska, in the cab of his Case IH tractor.Photograph: Olivia Solon for the Guardian T here are corn and…
Instapaper 
march 2017
www.nytimes.com
A Conspiracy Theory’s Journey From Talk Radio to Trump’s Twitter
The lobby of Trump Tower in New York. President Trump alleged, without evidence, that the Obama administration ordered a wiretap of the building. Todd…
Instapaper 
march 2017
Didi has opened a self-driving lab in the U.S. with famed Jeep hacker Charlie Miller - Recode
Didi has opened a self-driving lab in the U.S. with famed Jeep hacker Charlie Miller
Didi, China’s largest ride-hail player, is getting serious about self-driving cars. The company, which acquired Uber’s China assets in August 2016, today is…
Instapaper 
march 2017
The Hamilton Hustle | Matt Stoller
The Hamilton Hustle
© Melinda Beck A s Donald Trump settles into the White House, elites in the political class are beginning to recognize that democracy is not necessarily a…
Instapaper 
march 2017
Donald Trump’s Army on the Border - POLITICO Magazine
Donald Trump’s Army on the Border
Getty There’s one corner of the federal government excited about a Trump presidency: The union for its deadliest law enforcement agency. By Garrett M. Graff…
Instapaper 
march 2017
Russia Turns WikiLeaks CIA Dump Into Disinformation - The Daily Beast
Russia Turns WikiLeaks CIA Dump Into Disinformation
For the second time in a matter of months, U.S. intelligence agencies have suffered a devastating breach of their hacking secrets . But unlike the last breach…
Instapaper 
march 2017
WikiLeaks says it has obtained trove of CIA hacking tools - The Washington Post
WikiLeaks says it has obtained trove of CIA hacking tools
The anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks said Tuesday that it has obtained a vast portion of the CIA’s computer hacking arsenal, and began posting the files…
Instapaper 
march 2017
www.nytimes.com
WikiLeaks Releases Trove of Alleged C.I.A. Hacking Documents
If the WikiLeaks documents are authentic, the release would be the latest coup for the anti-secrecy organization and a serious blow to the C.I.A. Larry…
Instapaper 
march 2017
‘Artificial Intelligence’ Has Become Meaningless - The Atlantic
‘Artificial Intelligence’ Has Become Meaningless
In science fiction, the promise or threat of artificial intelligence is tied to humans’ relationship to conscious machines. Whether it’s Terminators or Cylons…
Instapaper 
march 2017
How leftwing media focus on far right groups is helping to normalize hate | World news | The Guardian
How leftwing media focus on far right groups is helping to normalize hate
Richard Spencer talks to the media at the 44th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland on 23 February 2017.Photograph: Jim…
Instapaper 
march 2017
The Undue Influence of Surveillance Technology Companies on Policing by Elizabeth E. Joh :: SSRN
Conventional wisdom assumes that the police are in control of their investigative tools. But with surveillance technologies, this is not always the case. Increasingly, police departments are consumers of surveillance technologies that are created, sold, and controlled by private companies. These surveillance technology companies exercise an undue influence over the police today in ways that aren’t widely acknowledged, but that have enormous consequences for civil liberties and police oversight. Three seemingly unrelated examples--stingray cellphone surveillance, body cameras, and big data software—demonstrate varieties of this undue influence. These companies act out of private self-interest, but their decisions have considerable public impact. The harms of this private influence include the distortion of Fourth Amendment law, the undermining of accountability by design, and the erosion of transparency norms. This Essay demonstrates the increasing degree to which surveillance technology vendors can guide, shape, and limit policing in ways that are not widely recognized. Any vision of increased police accountability today cannot be complete without consideration of the role surveillance technology companies play.
policing  surveillance  capitalism 
march 2017
Human Decisions and Machine Predictions
We examine how machine learning can be used to improve and understand human decision-making. In particular, we focus on a decision that has important policy consequences. Millions of times each year, judges must decide where defendants will await trial—at home or in jail. By law, this decision hinges on the judge’s prediction of what the defendant would do if released. This is a promising machine learning application because it is a concrete prediction task for which there is a large volume of data available. Yet comparing the algorithm to the judge proves complicated. First, the data are themselves generated by prior judge decisions. We only observe crime outcomes for released defendants, not for those judges detained. This makes it hard to evaluate counterfactual decision rules based on algorithmic predictions. Second, judges may have a broader set of preferences than the single variable that the algorithm focuses on; for instance, judges may care about racial inequities or about specific crimes (such as violent crimes) rather than just overall crime risk. We deal with these problems using different econometric strategies, such as quasi-random assignment of cases to judges. Even accounting for these concerns, our results suggest potentially large welfare gains: a policy simulation shows crime can be reduced by up to 24.8% with no change in jailing rates, or jail populations can be reduced by 42.0% with no increase in crime rates. Moreover, we see reductions in all categories of crime, including violent ones. Importantly, such gains can be had while also significantly reducing the percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics in jail. We find similar results in a national dataset as well. In addition, by focusing the algorithm on predicting judges’ decisions, rather than defendant behavior, we gain some insight into decision-making: a key problem appears to be that judges to respond to ‘noise’ as if it were signal. These results suggest that while machine learning can be valuable, realizing this value requires integrating these tools into an economic framework: being clear about the link between predictions and decisions; specifying the scope of payoff functions; and constructing unbiased decision counterfactuals.
fatcs  criminaljustice  fairness  fatml 
march 2017
Algorithmic decision making and the cost of fairness
Algorithms are now regularly used to decide whether defendants awaiting trial are too dangerous to be released back into the community. In some cases, black defendants are substantially more likely than white defendants to be incorrectly classi"ed as high risk. To mitigate such disparities, several techniques recently have been proposed to achieve algorithmic fairness. Here we reformulate algorithmic fairness as constrained optimization: the objective is to maximize public safety while satisfying formal fairness constraints designed to reduce racial disparities. We show that for several past de"nitions of fairness, the optimal algorithms that result require detaining defendants above race-speci"c risk thresholds. We further show that the optimal unconstrained algorithm requires applying a single, uniform threshold to all defendants. #e unconstrained algorithm thus maximizes public safety while also satisfying one important understanding of equality: that all individuals are held to the same standard, irrespective of race. Because the optimal constrained and unconstrained algorithms generally di$er, there is tension between improving public safety and satisfying prevailing notions of algorithmic fairness. By examining data from Broward County, Florida, we show that this trade-o$ can be large in practice. We focus on algorithms for pretrial release decisions, but the principles we discuss apply to other domains, and also to human decision makers carrying out structured decision rules.
fatcs  criminaljustice  fairness 
march 2017
What Discussing Polarizing Topics Like Inequality Exposes
What Discussing Polarizing Topics Like Inequality Exposes
ON THE AGENDA | FEBRUARY 23RD, 2017 | CHLOE RINEHART What Discussing Polarizing Topics Like Inequality Exposes Polarization is about more than simply holding…
Instapaper 
march 2017
Study: Breitbart-led right-wing media ecosystem altered broader media agenda - Columbia Journalism Review
Study: Breitbart-led right-wing media ecosystem altered broader media agenda
The 2016 Presidential election shook the foundations of American politics. Media reports immediately looked for external disruption to explain the unanticipated…
Instapaper 
march 2017
How Google Street View Images Reveal the Demographic Makeup of the U.S. - MIT Technology Review
A computer can learn a lot about local demographics from Google Street View images
Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau spends $1 billion surveying the population. These surveys are designed to tease apart the demographic makeup of the country by…
census  data 
march 2017
Understanding Trump’s 100-Day Plan through a White Supremacist Worldview – Culture Digitally
Understanding Trump’s 100-Day Plan through a White Supremacist Worldview – Culture Digitally
Authors: Joan Donovan, Christopher Kelty, Pamela Lim, Won Kyung Oh, Ravneet Purewal, Antoine Rajkovic, and Michael Scheipe — Illustration by Amisha Gadani In…
Instapaper 
march 2017
Discussion Focuses Fake News | Video | C-SPAN.org
The head of Facebook’s News Feed, the founder of CraigsList, Laura Sydell, other journalists, and academics talked about the effects of “fake” news on consumers and the media. Topics included identifying and fighting against fake news, social media, and financial motivations behind fake news.
news  manipulation 
march 2017
Everything is Fucked and I'm Pretty Sure It's the Internet's Fault
Everything is Fucked and I'm Pretty Sure It's the Internet's Fault
Instapaper 
march 2017
www.theguardian.com
Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media
Robert Mercer in New York in 2014.Photograph: DDP USA/Rex Shutterstock J ust over a week ago, Donald Trump gathered members of the world’s press before him and…
Instapaper 
february 2017
EPIC - Algorithms in the Criminal Justice System
Evidence-based risk assessments predict future behavior by analyzing statistical data. In the criminal justice system, risk-assessment algorithms use data about defendants including their criminal history (e.g. previous offenses, failure to appear in court, violent offenses, etc.) or socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. age, sex, employment status, drug history) to then predict the person’s risk of recidivism or risk of failing to appear when on bail. Such predictions are based on average recidivism rates for the group of offenders that share the defendant’s characteristics. The algorithms are becoming increasingly prevalent and the Justice Department’s National Institute of Corrections encourages the use of the assessments at every stage of the criminal justice process. But many have questioned the underlying data, the reliability of the outcomes as well as defendants’ lack of opportunity to challenge the results.
criminaljustice  algorithms 
february 2017
Three kinds of propaganda, and what to do about them / Boing Boing
Three kinds of propaganda, and what to do about them
/ / 5:42 am Sat Feb 25, 2017 Jonathan Stray summarizes three different strains of propaganda, analyzing why they work, and suggesting counter-tactics: in…
Instapaper 
february 2017
The Milo Yiannopoulos Fallout Reminds Us Why the Political Must Be Made Personal - Motherboard
The Milo Yiannopoulos Fallout Reminds Us Why the Political Must Be Made Personal - Motherboard
Let's just get this out of the way: Milo Yiannopoulos is a tedious, nihilistic, mean-spirited opportunist. He wants people to talk about him, and I do not want…
Instapaper 
february 2017
Defense Against the Dark Arts: Networked Propaganda and Counter-Propaganda | Jonathan Stray
Defense Against the Dark Arts: Networked Propaganda and Counter-Propaganda | Jonathan Stray
In honor of MisinfoCon this weekend, it’s time for a brain dump on propaganda — that is, getting large numbers of people to believe something for political…
manipulation  propaganda 
february 2017
www.nytimes.com
The Jobs Americans Do
Forget the images of men in hard hats standing before factory gates, of men with coal-blackened faces, of men perched high above New York City on steel beams.…
Instapaper 
february 2017
Getting Real about Fake News | Kaggle
The dataset contains text and metadata from 244 websites and represents 12,999 posts in total from the past 30 days. The data was pulled using the webhose.io API; because it's coming from their crawler, not all websites identified by the BS Detector are present in this dataset. Each website was labeled according to the BS Detector as documented here. Data sources that were missing a label were simply assigned a label of "bs". There are (ostensibly) no genuine, reliable, or trustworthy news sources represented in this dataset (so far), so don't trust anything you read.
datascience  manipulation 
february 2017
www.nytimes.com
What Facebook Owes to Journalism
Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg ’s manifesto about community, released last week on Facebook, wisely analyzed the state of…
Instapaper 
february 2017
Fake news. It's complicated. - First Draft News
Fake news. It's complicated. - First Draft News
By now we’ve all agreed the term “fake news” is unhelpful, but without an alternative, we’re left awkwardly using air quotes whenever we utter the phrase. The…
Instapaper 
february 2017
The Open Notebook – How to Talk to Your Facebook Friends about Fake News
How to Talk to Your Facebook Friends about Fake News
Late last November, something happened on Facebook that happens pretty much every day: An argument broke out over politics. In this particular case, the fight…
Instapaper 
february 2017
How Peter Thiel’s Palantir Helped the NSA Spy on the Whole World
How Peter Thiel’s Palantir Helped the NSA Spy on the Whole World
Donald Trump has inherited the most powerful machine for spying ever devised. How this petty, vengeful man might wield and expand the sprawling American spy…
Instapaper 
february 2017
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