Stuff’s going on! Some of it’s progress!
August 2, 2016
Stuff’s going on, peoples, and some of it’s actually really great. I am so happy to tell you about it now that I’m back from vacation.
- The Tampon Tax is gone from New York State. This is actually old news but I somehow forgot to blog it. As my friend Josh says, we have to remember to celebrate our victories!!
- Next stop, Menstrual Equality! Jennifer Weiss-Wolf is a force of nature and she won’t stop until everyone has a free tampon in their… near vicinity.
- There’s a new “bail” algorithm in San Francisco, built by the Arnold Foundation. The good news is, they aren’t using educational background and other race and class proxies in the algorithm. The bad news is, they’re marketing it just like all the other problematic WMD algorithms out there. According to Arnold Foundation vice president of criminal justice Matt Alsdorf, “The idea is to provide judges with objective, data-driven, consistent information that can inform the decisions they make.” I believe the consistent part, but I’d like to see some data about the claim of objectivity. At the very least, Arnold Foundation, can you promise a transparent auditing process of your bail algorithms?
- In very very related news, Julia Angwin calls for algorithmic accountability.
- There’s a new method to de-bias sexist word corpora using vector algebra and Mechanical Turks. Cool! I might try to understand the math here and tell you more about it at a later date.
- Speaking of Mechanical Turk, are we paying them enough? The answer is no. Let’s require a reasonable hourly minimum wage for academic work. NSF?