Menu

Databite No. 25: Sean Gorman

Our Algorithmic Future: Can Community Driven Incentives Create Greater Transparency?


February 19, 2015 - 12:00 pm

Data & Society
36 West 20th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10011

Databites are Data & Society's weekly lunch conversations focused on unresolved questions and timely topics of interest to our community. To request an invitation, please email events at data society dot net.

Sean Gorman (CEO, Timbr.io) on Our Algorithmic Future: Can Community Driven Incentives Create Greater Transparency?

There has been a growing call for greater transparency in the algorithms that influence and regulate our “on” and “offline” lives. While many have made compelling cases for the biases in big data, the threat of black box algorithmic regulation and dystopian futures have largely been canaries in the coal mine. The warnings are a critical first step, but how do we create an environment where transparency is a natural outcome? Can the incentives for transparency outweigh the benefits of keeping algorithms proprietary? Is there an opportunity to emulate the success of open source software in the promotion of transparent algorithms? Sean Gorman will talk about Timbr.io’s attempt to build software that uses the collective transparency of a community of algorithms to help users create better custom analytics through peer production. He hopes to get feedback on the potential effectiveness of the approach and how Timbr.io’s work can compliment existing efforts in the space, as well as to discuss the larger societal repercussions of the rapid evolution of algorithms and artificial intelligence.