We conduct a substantial portion of our daily lives online, but to what degree do our own biases spread through our technology? Sara Wachter-Boettcher takes an unflinching look at the values, processes, and assumptions that inform decisions in the modern tech industry with her new book Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech. She explains how our blind spots and prejudices have taken an active role in the creation of programs designed to enact harmful and malicious behavior: chat bots that harass women, signup forms that automatically fail anyone who’s not straight, unfairly weighted algorithms that put more black people behind bars. Join us as Wachter-Boettcher demystifies the tech industry, leaving us better prepared to make informed choices about the services we use―and demand more from the companies behind them.
Sara Wachter-Boettcher is a web consultant and principal of Rare Union, a workshopping group for Fortune 100 companies. She is the author of Content Everywhere and Design for Real Life (with Eric Meyer) and has been a speaker at conferences worldwide.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle as part of the Civics series.