Data is fundamental to automated decision-making, and sits at the heart of its ethical and practical challenges. These range from well-known problems with bias and privacy to complexities of data ownership and flows across devices and national borders.

Examples include:

  • An algorithm used to assign school grades during COVID-19 is accused of
    bias against students from poorer backgrounds.
  • Driverless vehicles are unable to ‘see’ and avoid kangaroos because they
    were designed in Europe and trained with data about animals like moose.
  • Photos people posted online for social purposes have been collected by a
    company that markets facial recognition technology to the police.
  • As more workers telecommute due to the Covid-19 pandemic, new
    applications are being developed for detailed monitoring of remote
    employees. The new forms of data that are collected can help remote work
    become more efficient, but they can also result in wage theft and diminished
    autonomy in the workplace.

Whilst there are new Centres and Institutes emerging around the world to advance ethical data-driven AI and data governance, the ADM+S Centre tackles these challenges at an unprecedented scale of cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration.

The Data research program brings together data science with social science to find responsible, ethical and inclusive ways of constructing, sharing and using data to solve problems and automate decision-making systems; and uses critical data studies approaches to critically examine the data logics, infrastructures and flows that sit behind ADM systems.

This group will deploy new digital tools and methods to improve awareness of data-related issues and involve the public in research, as well as working closely with our partners to collaboratively develop and embed responsible, inclusive and ethical data practices in industry, government and community settings, leading to more effective automated decision-making with fairer outcomes.