Data Action looks at how to use data as a tool for empowerment rather than oppression. Big data can be used for good—from tracking disease to exposing human rights violations—and for bad—implementing surveillance and control. Data inevitably represents the ideologies of those who control its use; data analytics and algorithms too often exclude women, the poor, and ethnic groups. In Data Action, Williams provides a guide for working with data in more ethical and responsible ways. She outlines a method that emphasizes collaboration among data scientists, policy experts, data designers, and the public. The approach generates policy debates, influences civic decisions, and informs design to help ensure that the voices of people represented in the data are neither marginalized nor left unheard.
Speaker: Sarah Williams, Author, Data Action: Using Data for Public Good; Curator Visualize NYC 2021
Sarah Williams is Associate Professor of Technology and Urban Planning at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, where she is also Director of the Civic Data Design Lab. Trained in geography, landscape architecture, and urban planning, she was named one of the Top 25 Leading Thinkers in Urban Planning and Technology and Game Changer by Metropolis Magazine. Her design work has been widely exhibited at venues including the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Cooper Hewitt Museum.
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