An Ode to Responsible Data Science

12 Dec, 2021

An Ode to Responsible Data Science

Alum danah boyd gives the plenary at the Microsoft Research Summit on Statistical Imaginaries: An Ode to Responsible Data Science. You can watch it and read the transcript online now!

From the description:

Data science is increasingly being used to ground decision-making in both industry and public life. As data become significant and powerful, people who rely on those data come to expect certain things from the data. All too often, data are expected to be precise, neutral, and objective. Those data are expected to speak with confidence—and not reveal their limitations. Left unchecked, data become illusory in the minds of many.

Drawing on her research into the 2020 US census, danah boyd discusses how illusions surrounding data can be weaponized. She highlights how the US Census Bureau’s decision to embrace differential privacy as part of its system to protect statistical confidentiality upended what people imagined the work of data to be. She discusses the importance of grappling with uncertainty and limitations as a key part of responsible data science.

Watch the video here!

Read the full transcript from her talk here!