BIDS Machine Learning and Science Forum — Data ethics in government services: putting accountable humans in-the-loop

ML&Sci Forum

November 22, 2021
11:00am to 12:00pm
Virtual Participation

BIDS Machine Learning and Science Forum
Date: Monday, November 22, 2021
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Location: Participate remotely using this Zoom link 

Data ethics in government services: putting accountable humans in-the-loop

Speaker: Eric Giannella, Data Science Director, Code for America
Abstract: Code for America is a non-profit that makes government services easier to access. Rather than emphasizing rules or checklists for ethical data and ML work, its data science team takes the need for active, engaged human oversight as a starting point. A foundation for this is our data ethics policy, which allows the data science team to halt any data-related projects at the organization. I'll describe examples of how this encourages the data science team to be vigilant in steering the collection and use of data at the organization. I'll then share a case study about putting humans in-the-loop for allocating budgets in online outreach, which shifts spending away from a purely cost-efficient approach to one that reflects a collective definition of fairness. 

The BIDS Machine Learning and Science Forum meets biweekly to discuss current applications across a wide variety of research domains in the physical sciences and beyond. Hosted by BIDS Affiliates Uroš Seljak (professor of Physics at UC Berkeley) and Ben Nachman (physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), these active sessions bring together domain scientists, statisticians, and computer scientists who are either developing state-of-the-art methods or are interested in applying these methods in their research.  To receive email notifications about upcoming meetings, or to request more information, please contact the organizers at berkeleymlforum@gmail.comAll interested members of the UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab communities are welcome and encouraged to attend. 

Speaker(s)

Eric Giannella

Data Science Director, Code for America

Eric Giannella is a social scientist turned data scientist and is Director of Data Science at Code for America. He’s done research in a variety of settings, spanning government, small and large tech companies, and nonprofits. Prior to Code for America, he was at the California Department of Justice working to make data more widely available for the public, journalists, and academics. He has published on social support, justice reform, and technology and society. Giannella has a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and an M.S. and B.A. from Stanford.