The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design

ISBN : 9780190948207

Michael Kearns; Aaron Roth
256 ページ
156 x 156 mm
  • Presents cutting-edge research in the science of socially aware algorithm design
  • Interweaves fascinating case studies from business, law, and medicine with analysis of the science behind new technologies
  • Written in a clear and engaging style

Over the course of a generation, algorithms have gone from mathematical abstractions to powerful mediators of daily life. In evolving from static computer programs hand-coded by engineers to the products of machine learning, these technologies have made our lives more efficient, more entertaining, and, sometimes, better informed. At the same time, complex algorithms are increasingly crushing the basic rights of individual citizens. Allegedly anonymized datasets and statistical models routinely leak our most sensitive personal information; applications for everything from loans to college reflect racial and gender bias. Meanwhile, users manipulate algorithms to "game" search engines, spam filters, online reviewing services and navigation apps.
Understanding and improving the science behind the algorithms that run our lives is quickly becoming one of the most pressing issues of this century. Traditional solutions, such as laws, regulations and watchdog groups, have proven woefully inadequate, at best. Derived from the cutting-edge of scientific research, The Ethical Algorithm offers a new approach: a set of principled solutions based on the emerging and exciting science of socially aware algorithm design. Weaving together the science behind algorithm design with stories of citizens, lawyers, scientists, and activists experiencing the trial-and-error of research in real-time, Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth present a strikingly original way forward, showing how we can begin to work together to protect people from the unintended impacts of algorithms—and, sometimes, protect the science that could save us from ourselves.


Chapter 1: Algorithmic Privacy: The Power of Randomization
Chapter 2: Fairness: Discriminating Algorithms
Chapter 3: Games People Play (With Algorithms)
Chapter 4: Lost in the Garden: Led Astray by Data
Chapter 5: Risky Business: Interpretability, Morality, and the Singularity
Some Concluding Thoughts


Michael Kearns is Professor and the National Center Chair in the Computer and Information Science department of the University of Pennsylvania, where he has secondary appointments at Wharton. He has consulted extensively in the finance and technology industries, and on various legal and regulatory matters involving algorithms, data and machine learning.
Aaron Roth is the class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Associate Professor in the Computer and Information Science department at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER award, a Google Faculty Research Award, and a Yahoo Academic Career Enhancement award.