Fighting the Future: Ethics & Algorithms

Inspecting Algorithms for Bias

​At different stages of the criminal justice system, from policing, bail hearings, and sentencing, computerized algorithms are replacing human decision-making in determining where to police, who to arrest, who goes to jail, and who goes free. This Olio will introduce people to how these algorithms work, the under-appreciated moral problems with their implementation, and how the future of criminal justice depends on decisions we make now about the risks we are willing to tolerate for public safety.


These algorithms are quickly replacing human judgment in the criminal justice system, promising everything from effective policing to solving the problem of mass incarceration. There are a lot of technical and social criticism about their implementation, with pessimists pointing out that they reinforce class and racial bias in the justice system, and optimists claiming that they can correct for human error and prejudice in ways humans never could. The moral questions underlying criminal justice algorithms are much deeper. Algorithms in criminal justice are meant to predict the unknown, including future crimes, and direct the state to intervene in punitive ways to prevent such crimes. But what are the moral rules that govern how far we can go to prevent predicted wrongdoing?




Location: Berg'n

899 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Hip, late-night beer hall featuring microbrews & food vendors in a spacious, industrial-chic venue. Classes will be held in the private room.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


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Other upcoming Olios


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Nov 13

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Sign Up - $30

Nov 14

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Nov 15

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Taught by Ifeoma Ike
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Nov 17

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Taught by Christopher Kelley
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Nov 21

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7:30 p.m. at Work Heights - Electric

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Nov 22

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Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

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Dec 6

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Taught by Michael Prettyman
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Dec 12

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Taught by Jeanne Proust
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