Biased Computers

Biased Computers

Anyone who’s seen the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report” is familiar with the premise:

Cover of "Minority Report [Blu-ray]"

Cover of Minority Report [Blu-ray]

Computers use programs to “predict” who will most likely become a threat to society or criminal. Of course, in the movie, the programs are flawed. And, apparently, so are they in real life.

ProPublica recently ran an enlightening story about police departments and courts across the nation using flawed and inaccurate programs to attempt to predict future crime. And, wouldn’t you know, that the programs are racist?

Would use of this (or similar) biased computer programs explain the seeming rise in police brutality cases of unarmed minority civilians and the rise of Black Lives Matter (and the subsequent retaliatory creation of “Blue Lives Matter” legislation)? Or are the two unrelated?

Seems like it would be difficult if not impossible to separate the “predictive” technology being biased and flawed from police departments across the nation shooting unarmed civilians of color, but is it?

Here’s a link to the entire article.

Same Race Employment Discrimination

Same Race Employment Discrimination

What can you do if you’re being discriminated against because you’re the same race (or for that matter, ethnicity) as the person doing the hiring?

As anyone who has encountered discrimination can tell you, fighting back against institutionalized racism is no easy matter. Not only do you have to prove it beyond any doubt whatsoever with concrete evidence, but you also have to prove a consistent, continued pattern and history of the practice (in most cases, and I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t speak to what’s required to substantiate a claim of workplace racism or discrimination that will float).

Nicole Franklin has made (or is making) a documentary on the topic, and I want to encourage all of our readers (all ten of ’em, right?) to support this woman’s important work and let us know what you think of the clip below and what she’s trying to draw attention to.

Here is a link to a current press release – here.
Here is a link to film maker Nicole Franklin’s site – here.
And here’s a link to Sister Franklin’s Indie-A-Go-Go page – here.