Society on Social Implications of Technology Chapter

Welcome to the Northern Virginia/Washington/Baltimore Chapter of the IEEE Society on Social Implications on Technology (SSIT).  SSIT is concerned with how technology impacts the world, and with how the application of technology can improve the world.

Our September 2019 meeting is now scheduled! The location will be confirmed soon.  Our meetings are now accessible by WebEx from wherever you are in the world! You must register at the Registration link and ask for WebEx instructions under Special Request area on the registration site.

September 2019 IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology Chapter Meeting:

Topic: Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Predictable and Unpredictable Challenges of Regulating Machine Learning Systems

When: Wednesday 25 September 2019 06:30 PM

Where: To be announced

Speaker: Dr Daniel Greene of University of Maryland

Registration: * Free * Please register at https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/200590

Contact: Murty Polavarapu murtyp@ieee.org

Abstract:

We are in a new golden age of artificial intelligence research, eclipsing the postwar zenith and driven by a fundamentally different conceptual approach. It’s powered by big data, new storage and processing capacities, and pattern-discrimination systems that learn from those data, constructing rules for their behavior as they go. This isn’t just in the lab. These machine learning systems are implemented by all the big tech companies in everything from ad auctions to photo-tagging, and are supplementing or replacing human decision making in a host of more mundane, but possibly more consequential, areas like loans, bail, policing, and hiring. And we’ve already seen plenty of dangerous failures: Computer vision systems that don’t recognize black faces or classify them as gorillas, risk assessment tools systematically rating black arrestees as riskier than white ones, hiring algorithms that learned to reject women. These issues force a fundamental reconsideration of core democratic values—not just in what decisions are made, but how they are reached, and with sort of accountability. This talk will review fundamental issues of fairness and equity in machine learning systems and demonstrate how they play out in the specific domain of policing. Finally, we will discuss emergent approaches for designing, auditing, and regulating these systems, and what we can learn both from other fields that have faced similar conflicts, and from activists on the ground.

Speaker Bio:

Daniel Greene is an Assistant Professor of Information Studies at the University of Maryland College Park. Prior to joining UMD, he was with Microsoft Research New England. Daniel’s research focuses on the future of work, using sociological approaches to explore the fights to define that future in workplaces, training institutions, and technological designs. He is currently at work on a book manuscript for the MIT Press that draws on years of ethnographic research to investigate the impact of learn-to-code curricula on both students and the schools and libraries deploying them.  A separate but related stream of research explores the history, design, and impact of surveillance systems.  With computer vision researcher Genevieve Patterson, Daniel recently published “The Trouble With Trusting AI to Interpret Police Body-Cam Video” in IEEE Spectrum, and he’s excited to discuss these issues with practitioners. You can find him online at dmgreene.net.

You can also now earn IEEE Certified Professional Development Hours for a small administrative fee.

The Chapter is seeking nominations for leadership positions for 2020.  Please contact Murty Polavarapu (murtyp@ieee.org) if you are interested.

If you have any suggestions for topics and speakers, please contact the Chapter Chair Murty Polavarapu. We also need volunteers!

The Chapter’s most recent meetings include:

TECHNOLOGY POLICY UPDATE: IMPLICATIONS FOR IEEE MEMBERS, ACADEMICS, TECHNOLOGISTS, INNOVATORS, RESERACHERS AND ENTREPRENEURS

COMPUTING MEDICINE 

NEUROWEAPONS: THE REAL AND PRESENT THREAT OF NEW NEUROACTIVE DRUGS, BUGS, TOXINS AND DEVICES

A WELLNESS-CENTRIC HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WITH INTEROPERABLE PUBLIC HEALTH: THE MULTIDIMENSIONAL GLOBAL THREATS, INTERDEPENDENCES OF THE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURES, AND GEOMEDICINE

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM COMPUTERS AND THEIR SOCIETAL IMPLICATIONS

EMERGING BIOTECHNOLOGIES: IMPLICATIONS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND BIODEFENSE

HUMAN GENOME EDITING – PROMISE AND PERIL

THE IP GUYS, TWO ENGINEERS TURNED LAWYERS TO ENCOURAGE AND PROTECT OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

EMERGING NEUROTECHNOLOGIES: PRACTICAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES AT THE INTERSECTION OF BRAIN SCIENCE AND SOCIETY

IS TECHNOLOGY MAKING US DUMBER OR SMARTER?

SSIT’s  activities at Society level include:

  • IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, an award-winning journal containing both peer-reviewed and general interest articles.
  • The International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS), held annually. Support and sponsorship of additional conferences.
  • An active network of SSIT chapters spanning the globe.
  • Awarding of the periodic IEEE Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest.
  • A Guest Lecturer program on critical topics of interest.
  • Online discussion of social impacts of technology through forums, website, blogs, and social media.
  • Support for members who speak, publish and advocate on SSIT topics within the Society or as participants in other IEEE societies and professional activities.

Membership in SSIT is open to all IEEE members and student members. Affiliation with SSIT with all benefits except voting rights is available to persons who are not members of IEEE.

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