Big Data, Bias, and Justice for All

“How do you identify, analyze, critique and respond to biased outcomes from the Big Data systems in your life and the lives of others? Big data algorithms have a dark side – instead of eliminating the effects of human bias, naive algorithms, empowered by Big Data, can perpetuate and accentuate them. Big data often hides historical biases in its vastness while still missing key contextual information about an individual. Big Data algorithms have no innate understanding of fairness, justice, or equality.

This course will Investigate Big Data’s role in justice, health, education, personal finance, and housing. We will explore the interplay of ethics and practical considerations in subjects such as: bias in data collection, privacy protection, open data, algorithmic bias detection, and bias in outcomes and communicating results (e.g., Infographics and “fake news”). You will exercise critical thinking skills to assess and critique new information, especially data-driven stories and Infographs, for authenticity, accuracy, and meaning. You will also analyze recent publications and on-line sources, to include open data, as you research current issues and the state of the practice. ”

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