Book Talk: Voices in the Code
A Knight First Amendment Institute book talk with David G. Robinson, Deborah Raji, Arvind Narayanan, and J. Nathan Matias about how algorithms shape key moments in our lives. Moderated by Katy Glenn Bass.
Panelists will discuss Robinson’s first book Voices in the Code, which is the story of how one community built a life-and-death algorithm in a relatively inclusive and accountable way. A diverse group of patients, surgeons, clinicians, data scientists, public officials, and advocates collaborated and compromised to build a new transplant matching algorithm for kidney donations. The book illustrates both the promise and the limits of participation, transparency, forecasting, and auditing of high-stakes software.
The public often finds algorithms to be complex, opaque, and intimidating—and it can be tempting to pretend that hard moral questions have simple technological answers. But that approach leaves technical experts holding the moral microphone, and it stops people who lack technical expertise from making their voices heard. This book talk will explore how policymakers and scholars are seeking better ways to share such moral decision-making.