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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Participation Washing?

Stated term was new to me,  but a important in any kind of data that is crowd sourced.  Should always be a consideration.  A fix?  Not that either.

Participation-washing could be the next dangerous fad in machine learning
Many people already participate in the field’s work without recognition or pay.  by Mona Sloane in Technology Review
 ...  Now, machine-learning researchers and scholars are looking for ways to make AI more fair, accountable, and transparent—but also, recently, more participatory.

One of the most exciting and well-attended events at the International Conference on Machine Learning in July was called “Participatory Approaches to Machine Learning.” This workshop tapped into the community’s aspiration to build more democratic, cooperative, and equitable algorithmic systems by incorporating participatory methods into their design. Such methods bring those who interact with and are affected by an algorithmic system into the design process—for example, asking nurses and doctors to help develop a sepsis detection tool.

This is a much-needed intervention in the field of machine learning, which can be excessively hierarchical and homogenous. But it is no silver bullet: in fact, “participation-washing” could become the field's next dangerous fad. That’s what I, along with my coauthors Emanuel Moss, Olaitan Awomolo, and Laura Forlano, argue in our recent paper “Participation is not a design fix for machine learning.”  ... " 

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