iSchool Dean's Lecture Series: Arvind Narayanan, "Societal Effects of Technical Systems"

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
10:00 a.m.
2119 Hornbake
Myja Gary

The Societal Effects of Technical Systems: Case Studies of Privacy and Fairness

Arvind Narayanan
Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science
Princeton University

Join the College of Information Studies for this talk in the Dean’s Lecture Series with Arvind Narayanan, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University.

Today’s algorithmic systems aim to engineer society, ranging from personalization of online ads to prediction of criminal risk for determining bail and parole. In such socio-technical systems, it is infeasible to formally specify a complete list of desirable properties. As computer scientists designing and studying such systems, we must adapt our methods.

Narayanan will discuss his work on two domains without clear formal specifications: the privacy implications of web tracking and the (un)fairness of machine learning. He will use the domains to illustrate an interdisciplinary research approach that is centered on measurement, embraces ambiguity in definitions, and seeks to build tools that can enable users, developers, and regulators to effectively negotiate conflicting goals and preferences.

Arvind Narayanan is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Princeton. He leads the Princeton Web Transparency and Accountability Project to uncover how companies collect and use our personal information. His research interests include fairness in machine learning, and his work has shown how machine learning absorbs cultural stereotypes from text corpora. He co-created a Massive Open Online Course as well as a textbook on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies. His doctoral research showed the fundamental limits of de-identification, for which he received the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Award.

Narayanan is an affiliated faculty member at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton and an affiliate scholar at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society.

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