Festival of Place Bytesize: Helen Kennedy, Professor of Digital Society at the University of Sheffield, speaks about the problem with algorithms, whether data analytics can be equitable, and the erosion of trust in the context of decisions being increasingly based on data
This is a recording of the Festival of Place Bytesize talk with Helen Kennedy on Data harms, inequality and the question of trust, which took place on 13 October. Bytesize offers a free taste of the Festival of Place, which runs from 2-13 November. Buy your pass today
Everyone wants to collect the data, and to make good decisions based on data. But are we aware of the ways in which data can discriminate and perpetuate the structural and systemic inequalities as found in our towns and cities?
As we seek to digitise community consultation, planning and even house-building targets, what are the ethical, accountability, trust and transparency questions we need to ask? What data policy and practices do we need to put in place?
Kennedy’s 20+ years of research has traversed digital media landscapes, covering topics from web homepages to data visualisation, from race, class, gender inequality to learning disability and web accessibility, and from web design to social media data mining.
She is interested in many aspects of digital life, and is currently investigating the datafication of everyday life across a range of domains. This includes thinking about: how datafication is experienced and perceived by non-experts; the visual dimensions of datafication; how data analytics processes discriminate and how to address this; how and whether data analytics can be accessible, transparent, accountable, fair, equitable, ethical and just; and the relevance of all of this for data policy and practice.
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