Open Data

Since the sad decline of RSS, we seem to have returned to newsletters as a major means of exchanging knowledge and information. And I subscribe to a lot – probably too many. I used to have a subscription to MIT’s The Algorithm — a weekly artificial intelligence newsletter. And it was pretty good, although perhaps a little US centric. But then it was moved behind a paywall, costing 50 US dollars a year for online access. I don’t really understand that MIT is so short of funding that they need subscriptions to fund their production of an online newsletter.

But my weekly data and technology fix is now being fulfilled by the excellent newsletter “The Week in Data”, dropping in my email box for free every Friday from the UK Open Data Institute. Not only does it cover open data, from the Institute and the wiser world, but it increasingly focuses on Artificial Intelligence and ethical practice in the development and use of AI. Here are just a couple of items from last Friday’s edition.

In keeping with the old adage that ‘prevention is better than cure’, NHS England and the Ada Lovelace Institute are piloting algorithmic impact assessments – with the aim to review any possible societal impacts of AI systems, before the systems are implemented. The trial aims to make sure risks, including algorithmic bias, are mitigated before they are applied to NHS data.

In other positive tech news, The Social Science Research Council has announced the upcoming launch of the Just Tech Platform. The website, highlighting justice and tech research, will include a free-to-use citation database based on an open-source citation library, and will feature leading academics in this field. The launch event on 1 March will feature, among others, Safiya ​​Umoja Noble – author of Algorithms of Oppression and ODI Summit keynote alumna.

To get your free subscription go to the Open Data Institute website.

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