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ACM to host conference on algorithmic fairness, accountability, and transparency

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The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) will host a conference on fairness, accountability and transparency in algorithmic systems from January 29 to 31 in Atlanta, Georgia, and will both record and livestream the event’s general session to accommodate rapidly growing interest in the subject.

The 2019 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAT*) will mark the first time FAT* is being presented as an ACM conference, after it grew out of the successful Workshop on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning (FAT/ML), and several other workshops including on recommender systems (FAT/REC), natural language processing (Ethics in NLP), and data and algorithmic transparency (DAT), according to the announcement.

“Algorithmic and algorithm-assisted decision making can affect our lives in significant ways, and this trend will only continue in the coming years,” explains ACM FAT* Program Co-Chair Alexandra Chouldechova, Carnegie Mellon University. “However, the FAT* conference goes beyond questions of the fairness and transparency of algorithms to encompass the full panoply of interactions between humans and intelligent machines, and how we can ensure that bedrock societal values are inherent in technological progress.”

The program for the event includes 41 peer-reviewed submissions and 13 tutorials from leading experts, all selected by a committee of 122 researchers from many disciplines. To support the development of a diverse and inclusive global community, the FAT* conference is providing more than 80 scholarships to students and researchers and subsidizing attendance for students and representatives of non-profit groups.

“In keeping with the mission of FAT, this year’s program reflects a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder effort to address the challenges of AI ethics within a societal context,” added Program Co-Chair Fernando Diaz of Microsoft Research Montreal. “Participants include experts in various disciplines such as computing, ethics, philosophy, economics, psychology, law and politics. FAT* has really struck a chord, and this year we expect more than 500 participants and we hope many more will partake of the conference through the livestreaming opportunities.”

ACM will host more than 170 events, including 16 multi-day conferences throughout the year.

Controversy around the proliferation of AI and the details of algorithms flared several times over the past year, leading to the launch of new development tools, congressional attention, the formation of the Algorithmic Justice League by MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini, and calls for regulation of facial recognition.

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