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Beyond the Future of Assessment?

A fascinating discussion session with colleagues who worked on Jisc’s “Future of Assessment” report. When that was written, in the first months of 2020, its intention was to look at how things might change over the next five years. Little did we know… When the pandemic hit, suddenly many of things we had expected to […]

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Peacasts

Think “Big benefits”, not “Big Data”

“Big Data” has – often rightly – had a bad press. Is there a better way to think about it? Starting from potential benefits and discussing how they might be achieved should help us choose the right outcomes to aim for when using data, make it more likely that those aims will be delivered, and […]

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Navigating the Temptations of Data

It seems easy to come up with new ways we might re-use data we already have. But harder to work out, in advance, whether an idea is likely to be perceived as unethical, intrusive, or just creepy. In a recent paper – “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (of Data)” – I explored […]

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Using Social Media: is it ethical?

In a chat at the DataMatters conference I was asked about the ethics of universities and colleges using social media providers to contact students. In breaking down that question, I think it illustrates a continuum: the more we interfere with individuals’ own choices of what and how to use, the more thinking we need to […]

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Sandbox Tales: Machine Learning

The latest reports from the ICO sandbox provide important clarification of how data protection law applies to, and can guide, the application of novel technologies. This post looks at machine learning… Onfido’s engagement looked at how to train and review the performance of machine learning models. In thinking about that I’d concluded that the GDPR […]

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Working with non-human intelligence

Today’s expert panel on Data Ethics took a fascinating turn: to consider what a healthy relationship between human and AI would look like. Although we tend to discuss characteristics and affordances of technology, proper use of technology depends on the human side of the partnership, too. When choosing or using any tool that uses AI, […]

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Presentations

Care with “Ethics”

I was invited to be a “catalyst” or “provocateur” for a discussion on Data Ethics, hosted by the Institute for the Ethics of AI in Education. Here goes… This has definitely been my “summer of Ethics”: I’ve read, listened, discussed and learned a lot. Mostly good, but here are four tendencies that concern me. Don’t […]

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Health Data Partnerships: using trust to build trust

This morning’s discussion – jointly hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Data Analytics and Health – suggested that if we want uses of health data to be trusted, we need to trust citizens and patients to think more deeply about benefits and risks than media headlines might suggest. The session was inspired by a […]

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AI: thinking about definitions…

To ensure a lively discussion at a recent round-table on AI Ethics participants were asked, provocatively, “was the A Level algorithm fair?”. OK, I can be provoked… It depends on what you mean by “fair”… As has been widely discussed, the main objective set for those who designed the algorithm  seems to have been to […]

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AI: Regulation isn’t enough

Alan Shark’s SOCITM ShareNational keynote looked at why regulation is not sufficient to deal with emerging technologies, and the complementary role that needs to be played by ethics. Although privacy is not the only threat posed by such technologies, it does seem to be the one that has got people interested in the debate, whether over […]