Lecture 24 (April 21): Overcoming bias, prejudice and discrimination

Bias and prejudice are pervasive. What can we do as technologists to ensure that we  (as humanity) act fairly despite our biases and prejudices? I will also try to convince you that–as designers–we frequently make choices that systematically discriminate against certain populations. This is an inadvertent, but inevitable result of the current design practice for digital products. We will look for ways to fix that.

Required prep:

  • Take an Implicit Association Test (IAT) — you can pick any test you want. You will need about 10 minutes of quiet time.  Note that the survey questions before and after the test are optional.  You can skip them.
  • Share your results (completely anonymously — even though you will be asked for your Harvard Key, we are only recording the fact that you participated in this activity, but no link is recorded between your identity and your response).  If you get hooked and take more than one IAT, feel free to fill out this survey more than once.

Note: If you have never taken an IAT before, you may be surprised–possibly even upset–by the results.  If you want to feel better, you can take a look at my results.

Lecture Slides

About the author: Krzysztof Gajos

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