These are chat archives for FreeCodeCamp/DataScience

30th
Sep 2016
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Sep 30 2016 09:24

@razerh0 welcome!


People

Yesterday I went to a meetup about Data Science for Social Welfare

The most interesting presentation went about Amsterdam "Smart City" project and the social effects of Big Data governance. Amsterdam has plans to become one of the Smart Cities in Europe. However there are many questions about the implications of becoming a Smart City:

  • First of all: What means to become a Smart City?
  • Also, how much data do you need from people to make a city Smart?
  • Then, what are the social impacts? Would a Smart City really increase the social welfare of all inhabitants or just a few (the connected ones, the richest ones)? Is really Smart City a more Inclusive City?
  • Is a Smart City a more democratic one? For example: privacy: what means privacy for the user? How can a government implement measures to protect the right of privacy and the right of not being tracked without affecting their social welfare and costs?
  • Then data security and efficiencies: How do you protect and make an efficient use of the user data in a usually very bureaucratic, silo-oriented organisation like a governmental one? Who would manage the data? The privacy sector? The public sector? Both? What need to change in the government infrastructure and organisation in order to use the data more efficiently and effectively?

One of the main concerns that caused more discussion was that about individual privacy: it is likely that the cost of privacy could increase, and that only those who have enough income will be able to protect their privacy: the rest will be either exposed or not included in the social welfare system: privacy could become a expensive good in a heavily big-data-dependent community.

Not mentioned during the presentation was the fact that big data and data science is overrated when it comes to its ability to really bring the actual picture of the population and individuals. As we have discussed here (particularly @erictleung), it is not totally appropriate to affirm that having the data and implement some good methods that minimise the error is enough: the pattern that you find in the data might not be representative of the social architecture, which could be more complex and absent from the data.

In fact, a similar issue about the risks of basing actions crudely on data only could be found in another study about the implementation of Big Brother surveillance devices in Oakland and the concerns about increasing social discrimination.

In short, data patterns should have a sensible social interpretation, not technocratic one, if you want the social welfare to become a reality. Recognising the exclusion, either by lack of access or due to own choice, should be also relevant.

The presentation by Linnet Taylor was a summary of a preliminary report that you can find at:
https://pure.uvt.nl/portal/files/12342457/Customers_users_or_citizens_Taylor_Richter_Jameson_Perez_de_Pulgar_2016.pdf

Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 18:05
Shot. Thank You. Thanks a lot!
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 18:29
This is such a freaking cool channel!
I'm learning F#
Eric Leung
@erictleung
Sep 30 2016 18:34
@razerh0 I like to think this room is pretty awesome too! :smile: I think @jomcode is also learning F#.
John L.
@jomcode
Sep 30 2016 18:34
guilty as charged
Lightwaves
@Lightwaves
Sep 30 2016 18:37

Wow I never knew Oakland tried to implement something as ambitious as a smart city, heck I'd be surprised if any place in the US tried it.
There is a story that I will link that is somewhat on topic, it's about prediction software being used to predict the occurrence of crime in areas of a city in real time.
http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/3/10895804/st-louis-police-hunchlab-predictive-policing-marshall-project

Due to racial tensions in the US, I'd like to bring up a bit of a ethical dilemma.

Should prediction software use race as a feature as part of it's prediction either in the case of crime prediction or attempting to predict Recidivism, I'll explain two of my opinions on both sides of the argument. On the yes side by incorporating race as a feature it would possibly increase the accuracy of the model due to latent factors.

On the no side, it could create what I would call a "Race bias" whereas the software would more likely peg a minority at a much higher risk of reoffending just on the basis of the race feature maybe again due to latent factors.

Alice Jiang
@becausealice2
Sep 30 2016 18:45
As problematic as it sounds, race is a factor in prediction of crime and recidivism in the US, it's just that it's not necessarily because whichever race is naturally prone to criminal activity. I would say include it but keep an eye on how much weight your algorithms are giving it
Hèlen Grives
@mesmoiron
Sep 30 2016 18:46
@alicejiang1 @darwinrc old socialist heritage. Emphasis on stem like the Russians
Hèlen Grives
@mesmoiron
Sep 30 2016 18:51
@Lightwaves the point is how to use the predictions. It is not enough to have a narrow minded goal. Pick offenders. Reducing crime is about addressing the root cause. A holistic approach would be to prevent by deferring creating opportunities. It is to easy to stick to low hanging fruit. That's why US has overcrowded prisons and The Netherlands don't. It is not only about using it; but how you use it.
In general algorithms should not be used to exaggerate or create self fulfilling prophecies. Because the prediction mindset is prone to status quo no tend to forget about change. It locks focus.
John L.
@jomcode
Sep 30 2016 18:56
isnt the whole point of a hypothesis to try and disprove it?
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 18:57
@erictleung! You lead me right to Him! Thank you! :D
CamperBot
@camperbot
Sep 30 2016 18:57
razerh0 sends brownie points to @erictleung :sparkles: :thumbsup: :sparkles:
:cookie: 416 | @erictleung |http://www.freecodecamp.com/erictleung
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 18:58
sup John
John L.
@jomcode
Sep 30 2016 18:59
not a whole lot. playing around with typescript at the moment. yourself?
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 19:00
learning let lucky = 3 + 7 :smile:
John L.
@jomcode
Sep 30 2016 19:00
:+1:
Lightwaves
@Lightwaves
Sep 30 2016 19:01
That's a good point an area with high crime, having more intervention resources like rehab clinics, counselors, job training would possibly help lower the crime having more beat cops in the area won't necessarily lower crime or at least it won't lower the intent to commit crime.
As far proving or disproving, I provided an open-ended opinion because there isn't quite a right or wrong answer to this question.
It would just lower opportunistic windows with which crime could be committed.
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 19:02
John! Your repositories are just about flat lining!
We need a defibrillator app! :smile:
@Lightwaves, what if the crime rate lowered without the changing windows of opportunity?
howevery, a window of opportunity is insanely necessary for a primary distortion of light/love.
And that, sir, is Freedom.
Lightwaves
@Lightwaves
Sep 30 2016 19:08
Haha that question actually got a grin out of me, I don't think I could answer that one, maybe there's a criminologist thinking about such topics.
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 19:09
:D
Lightwaves
@Lightwaves
Sep 30 2016 19:10
Maybe nothing happens, if you lack the intent even if the opportunity is smack dab in your face you won't take it.
A house door is open, not all of us will walk in grab a vase and walk out.
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 19:10
You just think about the data (science of it all, ne?)
Our motto (then): "If we stand together and work hard we will be blessed with rain" a
Lol! :D
Hèlen Grives
@mesmoiron
Sep 30 2016 19:11
@evaristoc it might be that the whole signaling thing is just their to keep the majority out. I read Taleb a lot and he is professor in fat tails/probability. He gives very interesting insights on papers that as an example state that the majority of inventions are not generated by mba's. That if you look at numbers one can paint different pictures. Like increasingly people with high degrees have to accept non conform jobs. Maybe a shift is going in. From lockstep to flexibility. The RSA has a nice discussion about such topics. How demographics change. I even invented long ago the notion of citizen/laywoman scientist; just to break the pattern. Early centuries kitchens where labs and the scientific method can be learned by everybody. I have used it in the quantified self movement.
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 19:35
@mesmoiron you are full of data and code :)
What are everyones thought on the future of IT technology in the world, say 20yrs from now?
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 19:41
For me, there will be a rapid-fire new way of communicating our thoughts and ideas using electronic technoligy. That will forever remain and basics will be more understood. It's the implementations of "windows of opportunity" through your knowledge of code that will mushroomhead into... hmmm... flavour :)
We're discovering the "roots" or leaves of the herbs. Soon we will cook Great Stews :)
Programming Stews. Where have a you seen a project before bigger than FreeCodeCamp? (I'm out of the loop, it may have existed already)
Jacques
@razerh0
Sep 30 2016 20:02
"Now that you've taken your first steps in F#, it's time to introduce one of the most basic, yet most powerful building blocks of F#: functions. In the previous lesson, you saw how you can use let to bind a name to a value, but you can also use let to bind a name to a function." Loving this!
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Sep 30 2016 22:01
@razerh0 :) :) :) You are so motivated about F#, it is contagious! I have to keep myself controlled to stay on my track! But you and @jomcode are pushing F# up in my list! :)
John L.
@jomcode
Sep 30 2016 22:03
about to try out https://fable-compiler.github.io/ and see how feasible it is to write certain things in F# then call them from javascript
CamperBot
@camperbot
Sep 30 2016 22:03
you need to ask about @someone!
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Sep 30 2016 22:07
men... you are ruining my study path...