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From: Prof. Don Waisanen, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, for the Interdisciplinary Digital Scholarship Faculty Seminar
Please join us for four research presentations by fellows from the NYC nonprofit research institute, Data & Society (www.datasociety.net), which focuses on the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric technological development. Descriptions for each presentation can be found below. This seminar will run from 10am-12:30pm on Thursday, April 27 in room 711 of the 17 Lex building.
Due to space considerations, we only have room for about 20 participants. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Richard Encarnacion (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible; first come, first served. Breakfast and coffee/tea will be provided before the seminar.
This event is sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Digital Scholarship Faculty Seminar. Come join us!
Data & Society presentations for this event:
"Mapping Inequalities in the On-Demand Economy,” Julia Ticona, Ph.D. (https://datasociety.net/people/ticona-julia/)
Most of the information we have about work conditions in on-demand industries relate to Uber and other driving services. As more services become “uberized” in the on-demand economy—such as highly gendered services in care and cleaning work—it’s necessary to explore and understand the inequalities that emerge as a result of different worker populations doing different kinds of work under similar technological conditions. In collaboration with Alex Rosenblat and Alexandra Mateescu (both at Data & Society), we are interviewing workers in driving, care, and cleaning services in three different U.S. cities. This presentation shares initial findings from our early interviews, as well as the ways this project challenges “entrepreneurship" and dependency in the “digital economy.”
“Refugees and Migrants in a Digital Ecosystem,” Mark Latonero, Ph.D. (https://datasociety.net/people/latonero-mark/)
As millions of migrants and refugees have fled recent conflicts, many depend on smartphones, online maps, translation apps, electronic money transfers, and real-time messaging. While the commercial tech sector inadvertently provides the digital infrastructure facilitating large-scale migration, the lives of refugees are also impacted by the deliberate development of technologies by international organizations, governments, and “digital humanitarians” alike. These tools are now integral to an emerging technical system used for social purposes, such as sorting and identification. Yet the potential benefits, risks, and harms of these technologies remain unclear, particularly for vulnerable populations. Indeed, the same biometric technologies used at refugee registration sites can serve as a digital passage or border, facilitating or preventing movement in physical space. Likewise, the same social media platforms that serve to connect can also surveil. Thus, this project raises questions about access, agency, privacy, and power. In this talk, I will explore these issues and present findings from a survey conducted in January 2017 at a Syrian refugee camp in Greece.
“Policing the Virtual,” Joshua Scannell, Ph.D. candidate (https://datasociety.net/people/scannell-josh/)
Recent debates surrounding police agencies' adoption of digital technologies, like predictive analytic software and domain awareness systems, have tended to frame political and social questions in civil libertarian and novel terms. While there are truths to these approaches, they narrow the scope of these transformations in logics of rule that, since the 1970s, have worked to instantiate the virtual as the proper target of policing. In this talk, I track a genealogy that enfolds the debates over “broken windows” policing, the implementation of digital gang databases and civil injunctions, and current contests over prediction and probability. I show that the rise of "big data" policing is inseparable from the organizing structures of U.S. racial, sexual, and class antagonisms.
“Pursuing Fairness in Precision Medicine,” Kadija Ferryman, Ph.D. (https://datasociety.net/people/ferryman-kadija/)
Precision medicine is a growing field that aims to use multiple data sources to tailor medical care to individuals. From incorporating genetic information to data from electronic health records, precision medicine has the potential to transform health care and medical research. Precision medicine has strong support in multiple sectors, including the U.S. government’s $215 million dollar Precision Medicine Initiative, as well as industry-led efforts to collect and analyze health data. In this talk, I will describe my research at Data & Society that aims to move past the rhetorics of promise in precision medicine to critically assess the potential for bias and discrimination in health data collection, sharing, and interpretation. I will map the network stakeholders in precision medicine, including researchers, healthcare providers, clinicians, and data analysts, and identify pitfalls in the ecosystem that could lead to discriminatory outcomes, whether they might emerge as a byproduct of data quality, algorithmic models, or organizational decision-making. This research will articulate salient gaps and blind spots, and identify challenges that may trigger conflicting commitments.
Prof. Don Waisanen
Marxe School of Public and International Affairs