April 18, 2024

Making Sense of Child Protection Predictive Models: Tech-Soc Reading Group Feb 20

How are predictive models transforming how we think about child protection, and how should we think about the role of such systems in a democracy?

If you’re interested to ask these questions, join us at 2-3pm on Tuesday, Feb 20th at Sherrerd Hall room 306 for our opening Technology and Society Reading group meeting. The conversation is open to anyone who’s interested, and who’s willing to do the reading in advance.  (if you’re interested, come for our lunch talk that day as well, which focuses on privacy & safety concerning intimate partner violence)

In 2016, Allegheny County, which includes the city of Pittsburgh, became the first region in the US to use a predictive model to “identify families most in need of intervention” for their department of  Children, Youth and Families. These models create a risk score for children who might be at risk of violence and guide decisions about followup by government employees. In January 2018, three very different perspectives  were published widely about this system: a New York Times Magazine article, a chapter in Virginia Eubanks’s new book Automating Inequality (blog post here), and a new academic paper by the creators of the system that outlines the work they’ve done to make the system transparent and fair.

About the Technology and Society Reading Group

At the Center for Information Technology Policy, we bring together people with expertise in technology, engineering, policy, and the social sciences to ask those questions and develop new approaches together.  You can sign up for the mailing list here, where you will receive reading material for discussion before the event.

This semester, conversations will be organized by CITP fellows J. Nathan Matias and Ben Zevenbergen.

If you have ideas for a conversation you would like to see us discuss, please email Nathan () and Ben () with suggestions, and some references that you think might be interested

Time: every other Tuesday from 2pm-3pm, starting Feb 20th