In this article, first appeared on Weekly Wonk (http://www.newamerica.org/weekly/ ) illustrates how discrimination might run deep also in the development of new technologies.
“From search engines to recommendation platforms, systems that rely on big data could be unlocking new powers of prejudice. But how do we figure out which systems are disadvantaging vulnerable populations—and stop them? […] Unlike the mustache-twiddling racists of yore, conspiring to segregate and exploit particular groups, redlining in the Information Age can happen at the hand of well-meaning coders crafting exceedingly complex algorithms. One reason is because algorithms learn from one another and iterate into new forms, making them inscrutable to even the coders responsible for creating them, it’s harder for concerned parties to find the smoking gun of wrongdoing. (Of course, some coders or overseeing institutions are less well-meaning than others—see the examples to come).”