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Daily Archives: April 29, 2019

How to Argue with an Algorithm: Lessons from the COMPAS ProPublica Debate

Washington, Anne, How to Argue with an Algorithm: Lessons from the COMPAS ProPublica Debate (February 4, 2019). Accepted for publication. The Colorado Technology Law Journal. Volume 17 Issue 1 Available at SSRN:

“The United States optimizes the efficiency of its growing criminal justice system with algorithms however, legal scholars have overlooked how to frame courtroom debates about algorithmic predictions. In State v Loomis, the defense argued that the court’s consideration of risk assessments during sentencing was a violation of due process because the accuracy of the algorithmic prediction could not be verified. The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the consideration of predictive risk at sentencing because the assessment was disclosed and the defendant could challenge the prediction by verifying the accuracy of data fed into the algorithm.Was the court correct about how to argue with an algorithm?

The Loomis court ignored the computational procedures that processed the data within the algorithm. How algorithms calculate data is equally as important as the quality of the data calculated. The arguments in Loomis revealed a need for new forms of reasoning to justify the logic of evidence-based tools. A “data science reasoning” could provide ways to dispute the integrity of predictive algorithms with arguments grounded in how the technology works.

This article’s contribution is a series of arguments that could support due process claims concerning predictive algorithms, specifically the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (“COMPAS”) risk assessment. As a comprehensive treatment, this article outlines the due process arguments in Loomis, analyzes arguments in an ongoing academic debate about COMPAS, and proposes alternative arguments based on the algorithm’s organizational context…”

Cloud database removed after exposing details on 80 million US households

c/net – Exclusive: The cache included information on addresses, income levels and marital status. “In a blow to consumers’ privacy, the addresses and demographic details of more than 80 million US households were exposed on an unsecured database stored on the cloud, independent security researchers have found. The details included names, ages and genders as… Continue Reading

How To Watermark Your Photos (For Free)

ubergizmo (Windows and Mac versions): “It has become increasingly common to find images that have been “stolen” and reposted online without either paying for the licensing rights or attributing its creator. It seems highly unlikely that this is a problem that could ever truly go away. However, watermarking your images is one of the ways… Continue Reading

NY Fed’s Educational Comic Book Series teaches students about basic economic principles

“The New York Fed’s Educational Comic Book Series teaches students about basic economic principles and the Federal Reserve’s role in the financial system. Created for students at the middle school, high school, and introductory college levels, the series can help stimulate their curiosity and raise their awareness of careers in economics and finance. In addition,… Continue Reading

Many Across the Globe Are Dissatisfied With How Democracy Is Working

“Discontent is tied to concerns about the economy, individual rights and out-of-touch elites. Anger at political elites, economic dissatisfaction and anxiety about rapid social changes have fueled political upheaval in regions around the world in recent years. Anti-establishment leaders, parties and movements have emerged on both the right and left of the political spectrum, in… Continue Reading

Federal Workforce: Key Talent Management Strategies for Agencies to Better Meet Their Missions

Federal Workforce: Key Talent Management Strategies for Agencies to Better Meet Their Missions. GAO-19-181: Published: Mar 28, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2019. Technology, demographics, and attitudes toward work are evolving in the private and public sectors. But federal government employment policies were designed generations ago. As a result, the government may struggle to compete… Continue Reading

Spies, Lies, and Algorithms

Foreign Affiars – “For U.S. intelligence agencies, the twenty-first century began with a shock, when 19 al Qaeda operatives hijacked four planes and perpetrated the deadliest attack ever on U.S. soil. In the wake of the attack, the intelligence community mobilized with one overriding goal: preventing another 9/11. The CIA, the National Security Agency, and… Continue Reading

CRS Sidebar – Frequently Asked Questions about the Julian Assange Charges

CRS via LC – Frequently Asked Questions about the Julian Assange Charges, April 22, 2019. “After spending nearly seven yearsin the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Julian Assangewas arrestedby British police, was convictedfor violating the terms of his bail in the U.K., and hadanindictmentagainst him unsealedin the United States—all in a single day. Despite the swiftness… Continue Reading