2019 Justice and Fairness in Data Use and Machine Learning

April 5-7, 2019 | 909 Renaissance Park, Northeastern University


Call for Submissions

17th Annual Information Ethics Roundtable

Justice and Fairness in Data Use and Machine Learning

April 5-7
Northeastern University

The 17th annual Information Ethics Roundtable will explore the relationship between the normative notions of justice and fairness and current practices of data use and machine learning.

Artificial intelligence is now a part of our everyday lives. It allows us to easily get to a place we have never been before, while avoiding traffic and road work, to communicate with our Chinese friend when we don’t share a common language, and to carry out complex but mind numbing repetitive jobs in factories. But such artificial intelligences can also exhibit what we might call “artificial bias;” that is, machine behavior that, if produced by a person, we would say is biased against particular groups, such as racial minorities. Machine learning using large data sets is one means of achieving AI that is particularly vulnerable to producing biased systems, because it uses data from human behavior that is itself biased. A number of tech companies, such as Google and IBM, and computer science researchers are currently seeking ways to correct for such biases and to produce “fair” algorithms. But a number of fundamental questions about bias, fairness, and even justice still need to be answered if we are to solve this problem. (See below for some examples.)

In the 2019 edition of IER, we seek proposals that approach these questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives through the lens of information ethics.

Registration is free and the conference is open to the public. Thus, we invite you to attend, regardless of whether or not you are formally workshopping or discussing a paper.



Suggested Topics:


Proposal requirements

We invite three types of proposals:
(1) Papers: Please submit a 500-word abstract of your paper. If accepted, you are expected to submit a detailed outline of your talk to the Roundtable. This will give your commentator a chance to prepare his/her comments in advance.

(2) Panels: Please submit a 1500-word description of your panel. The description should include: i) description of the topic, ii) biographies of the panel members, ii) organization of the panel. It is a requirement that panels focus tightly on a specific emergent topic, technology, phenomena, policy, or the like, with clear connections between the presentations.

(3) Posters (for undergraduate and graduate students only): Please submit a 500-word abstract of your poster and an outline of the major sections.


Commentators: We are also interested in receiving expressions of interest to serve as a commenter/discussant for another person’s paper. Each author with an accepted proposal will be paired with a commenter who will provide formal feedback and comments during the conference. Expressions of interest should be sent to Katie Molongoski at k.molongoski@northeastern.edu by March 10th.





Submitting Proposals:

Please submit proposals to k.molongoski@northeastern.edu

Please include the subject line “IER Proposal” Please indicate paper abstract, panel, or poster.