This article is cross-posted from the New Tactics in Human Rights website.
Join HURIDOCS, the Center for Human Rights Science – Carnegie Mellon University, and the New Tactics community for an online conversation on machine learning and human rights June 18-22, 2018.
Technology is rapidly changing the world around us, offering new ways for human rights defenders to use new tools to their advantage – machine learning is one of them
Machine learning is a powerful tool that offers tremendous opportunities in the field of human rights. Machine learning can help us detect patterns of corruption to support advocacy, predict poverty to support policy change, and analyzing evidence of human rights violations for transitional justice. However, with these opportunities that machine learning provides, the same technology also raises significant human rights concerns. Algorithmic biases have the potential to completely change the lives of individuals, as well as reinforce and even accelerate existing social and economic inequalities: flawed facial recognition systems, misclassification of videos documenting war crimes as terrorist propaganda, and racist chatbots.
Our goal as human rights defenders is to distinguish between beneficial machine learning systems from harmful automated decision-making processes in order to minimize the risks and maximize the impact of new technologies in human rights work. A few good practices we will discuss include: fair and transparent machine learning algorithms, and close collaboration and open conversation with experts from these different fields.
In this discussion, we hope to bring together human rights defenders, tool developers and machine learning practitioners to share knowledge and experience with machine learning techniques in human rights work. We also welcome and encourage to join those who are interested in exploring machine learning and want to find out more about the possibilities that these tools offer to human rights advocates.
The practitioners that have signed up to lead this discussion include:
- Natalie Widmann of HURIDOCS
- Enrique Piracés of Carnegie Mellon University
- Micaela Mantegna of Center for Technology and Society, San Andres University
- Nani Jansen Reventlow of Digital Freedom Fund
- Bill Doran of Ushahidi
- Santiago Borrajo of CELS Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales
- Adam Harvey of vframe.io