Racist Technology in Action: U.S. universities using race in their risk algorithms as a predictor for student success

An investigation by The Markup in March 2021, revealed that some universities in the U.S. are using a software and risk algorithm that uses the race of student as one of the factors to predict and evaluate how successful a student may be. Several universities have described race as a “high impact predictor”. The investigation found large disparities in how the software treated students of different races, with Black students deemed a four times higher risk than their White peers.

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Opinion: Biden must act to get racism out of automated decision-making

Despite Biden’s announced commitment to advancing racial justice, not a single appointee to the task force has focused experience on civil rights and liberties in the development and use of AI. That has to change. Artificial intelligence, invisible but pervasive, affects vast swaths of American society and will affect many more. Biden must ensure that racial equity is prioritized in AI development.

By ReNika Moore for Washington Post on August 9, 2021

Moses Namara

Working to break down the barriers keeping young Black people from careers in AI.

By Abby Ohlheiser for MIT Technology Review on June 30, 2021

Racist Technology in Action: Proctoring software disadvantaging students of colour in the Netherlands

In an opinion piece in Parool, The Racism and Technology Center wrote about how Dutch universities use proctoring software that uses facial recognition technology that systematically disadvantages students of colour (see the English translation of the opinion piece). Earlier the center has written on the racial bias of these systems, leading to black students being excluded from exams or being labeled as frauds because the software did not properly recognise their faces as a face. Despite the clear proof that Procorio disadvantages students of colour, the University of Amsterdam has still used Proctorio extensively in this June’s exam weeks.

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The pandemic showed remote proctoring to be worse than useless

Before covid, “remote proctoring” tools were a niche product, invasive tools that spied on students who needed to take high-stakes tests but couldn’t get to campus or a satellite test-taking room. But the lockdown meant that all students found themselves in this position.

By Cory Doctorow for Pluralistic on June 24, 2021

Online proctoring excludes and discriminates

The use of software to automatically detect cheating on online exams – online proctoring – has been the go-to solution for many schools and universities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, Shea Swauger addresses some of the potential discriminatory, privacy and security harms that can impact groups of students across class, gender, race, and disability lines. Swauger provides a critique on how technologies encode “normal” bodies – cisgender, white, able-bodied, neurotypical, male – as the standard and how students who do not (or cannot) conform, are punished by it.

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Robot Teachers, Racist Algorithms, and Disaster Pedagogy

I have volunteered to be a guest speaker in classes this Fall. It’s really the least I can do to help teachers and students through another tough term. I spoke tonight in Dorothy Kim’s class “Race Before Race: Premodern Critical Race Studies.” Here’s a bit of what I said…

By Audrey Watters for Hack Education on September 3, 2020

Digital Ethics in Higher Education: 2020

New technologies, especially those relying on artificial intelligence or data analytics, are exciting but also present ethical challenges that deserve our attention and action. Higher education can and must lead the way.

By John O’Brien for EDUCAUSE Review on May 18, 2020

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