David Gray Grant: Fair Machine Learning and Moral Philosophy


Monday, November 5, 2018, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Maxwell Dworkin 119

Fair Machine Learning and Moral Philosophy

Organizations are increasingly using machine learning systems to make important decisions about how to treat particular individuals. The fair machine learning literature in computer science seeks to develop mathematical, computational, and software tools to help ensure that these systems are fair to the individuals concerned. What sort of tools will be most useful for this purpose depends in part on the nature of the concrete moral problems they are supposed to help us address. This talk will explore the nature of these problems by drawing on the literature in moral philosophy, and consider implications for how the project of fair machine learning should be understood and pursued.

David Gray Grant is a postdoctoral fellow in the philosophy department at Harvard and an affiliate of CRCS. David received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2018. His research focuses on ethical issues in the design of automated decision systems and autonomous software agents. He also leads the Embedded EthiCS Teaching Lab at Harvard University as part of his work with the Harvard Embedded EthiCS program. The program is a joint effort between the philosophy and computer science departments at Harvard, and develops ethics modules for preexisting computer science courses.