How big data and unfair algorithms change our lives

The digital trails we leave behind and algorithms that use our data have major effects on our lives. This podcast episode digs into issues of fairness and privacy.

ETH Zurich • futurity
Aug. 20, 2019 1 minSource

A person wearing a jean jacket and a short haircut in profile uses their laptop at a cafe table against a white wall

On a daily basis, we each leave behind a huge digital footprint in all sorts of ways, researchers say.

“Everything I do on the computer or smartphone is public to a certain extent,” says Hoda Heidari, a computer scientist at ETH Zurich. Algorithms can use that data to make real decisions about our lives, from bank loans to prison time.

In this podcast episode, Heidari and Elliott Ash, a professor of law, economics, and data science, talk about our digital trails. They also explain how big data is changing the world and our perceptions, why governments are still lagging behind this transformation, and how algorithms can learn and become fairer in the process.

Source: ETH Zurich

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