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Informing the public on the promise and perils of algorithms
This SPJ Sunshine Week panel will discuss the growing issue of government use of algorithms to make major decisions, such as determining education funding, who gets a covid-19 vaccine first, and even predicting risk of reoffending for people with criminal records. These algorithms are often biased, far from transparent and created by private contractors that refuse to disclose their origins citing trade secrets.

Our panel of journalists and subject matter experts will discuss the intricacies of the issue and its growing importance in American society.

Specific topics will include:
* How algorithms are constructed, and the big decisions that are now being left to them.
* The best ways for reporters to learn about and inform the public of the issue.
* How bias is baked into algorithms, and why it's so important that their use becomes more transparent.
* How journalists and journalism advocacy organizations can push for transparency in algorithms, and how some already are.
* How to make artificial intelligence less biased.

Panelists include:

Khari Johnson, AI reporter for Venture Beat

Michele Gilman, University of Baltimore professor and faculty fellow at the Data and Society Research Institute

Israel Balderas, assistant professor of convergence journalism at Palm Beach Atlantic University

The panel will be moderated by Michael Savino, reporter at WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut

Mar 18, 2021 07:00 PM in Indiana (East)

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