What is your take on the use of algorithms for risk assessment? Were you aware such systems were in use in the USA?

The videos this week introduce the idea of using computer software and algorithms to conduct risk assessments. Please watch both videos and then join the discussion.

What is your take on the use of algorithms for risk assessment? Were you aware such systems were in use in the USA? Were you surprised by any of the findings of Hany Farid? Do you think the problems he identified can be corrected for or is the concept fundamentally flawed? If these issues could be corrected, would there be any benefit to using algorithms in the criminal justice system? What about the use of algorithms in other areas – what sorts of biases or problems could you imagine in other areas (e.g., college admissions, granting loans, matching individuals in dating apps, whatever you can think of)? Feel free to answer any of these or anything else that comes to mind as you think about these issues.

Videos: