OUT IN THE CITY – Exploring counter-indications

The Assembly is designed to bring people together across many areas of expertise with the goal of exploring how we work together.  The Friday afternoon activities provide hands-on, off-site opportunities to learn from each other, to make connections with people we may not meet otherwise, and to explore methodologies in an area of general interest that can then be applied to our own work.  The work of the Friday afternoon groups will be shared with the full Assembly on Saturday morning.

Analog Algorithms

Algorithms aren’t all coded in digital medium. Work with local artist Mya Kerner to create a personalized interpretation of the Seattle area landscape. Using your unique perspective, allow your senses to convert the landscape into a two-dimensional interpretation of that landscape. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to a composite piece of art, so pack your creative hats!  Venue: Washington State Ferry

Individuals As Data Subjects

We make certain informed assumptions about what it is that people care about, what kind of harms they might experience, and what a good life looks like. We shape ethics policies and technologies and scientific agendas around these assumptions. But how have those assumptions changed now that data analytics is so dominant in our social and industrial landscapes? What does a data subject care about, and how can we treat them with respect?  Lead: Jacob Metcalf, Data & Society. Venue: Center for Wooden Boats

Societal Checks for Algorithms

For algorithms that influence our lives, from complex ones like tools for auto-trading or fake news detection to simpler ones like spam filters, a key way for humans to have influence is to define “good” or successful outcomes. This design challenge is to create a deliberation process that provides clear definitions of success for complex algorithms that have broad societal implications.  To ground this, we will discuss what a successful fake news detection algorithm would look like. Our goal will be to define a way of deliberating on a contentious topic with people with differing opinions, and to come up with concrete suggestions on how to define success for a fake news algorithm that could be used by others such as Facebook. Lead: Eric Hekler. Venue: Pintxo Tapas Bar, Branchwater location on 4th Ave

Algorithms in Games

Algorithms often influence how we compete or collaborate in games. Join us for an interactive group exploration of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, followed by a less formal exploration of shuffleboard, mini-golf, corn hole and other games at the Flatstick Pub.  Lead: Dan Webster. Venue: Flatstick Pub

Land Trusts for Data Governance

If recent events have taught us anything, it’s the need for purpose-built, public interest governance of data and digital spaces. Land trusts, the legal tool used to protect more than 800 million acres of public land in the United States alone, are one interesting approach – and one gaining momentum in a range of industries. This breakout will visit a land trust in Seattle and explore the practical work, governance processes, and challenges that go into maintaining public interest assets.  Leads:  Sean McDonald and John Wilbanks.  Venue: Bus to land trust

Losing the Cow Path

This group will embark on a path finding exercise that takes them through a downtown Seattle neighborhood with designers John Chaffin and Woody MacDuffie to identify “cow paths” – the physical spaces and affordances where groups of people collectively filter.  The group will discuss how algorithmic culture and personalization can make that kind of collective filtering hard, and then move into a conversation about how design can help us retain the collective in an age of personalization. Leads: John Chaffins and Woody MacDuffie.  Venue: Outdoors in city and additional location TBD