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Algorithms and Fairness: What are the limits of predictive algorithms in public policy - 6 June 2018 - 1pm Institute of Health Infortmatics G01
Algorithms are increasingly used to make decisions affecting our lives, but can we ensure machine-generated decisions are fair? Algorithms have long been used in the private sector to make marketing or finance decisions. As large-scale data becomes available in the public sector, these techniques are increasingly being deployed in areas as diverse as education, criminal justice or health. If these algorithms are based on data which misrepresents specific groups of people, then their use could widen social inequalities or breach equality laws. By developing our understanding of how algorithms can be unfair and what their impact in different areas of the public sector, we can contribute to the responsible development and use of these decision aids. Prior work has focussed on algorithms directly affecting individuals, but big data is also used to allocate resources to different groups within the population. Do decisions to allocate resources informed by predictive tools unfairly decrease access to resources? We have organised a workshop, funded by UCL Grand Challenges, to bring interested parties together, within and beyond UCL, to develop an interdisciplinary research agenda. The workshop will be a combination of invited talks and group discussion, appropriate for academics, patient and public representatives, policy makers and doctoral students.