Reducing Discrimination in Learning Algorithms for Social Good in Sociotechnical Systems


Sociotechnical systems within cities are now equipped with machine learning algorithms in hopes to increase efficiency and functionality by modeling and predicting trends. Machine learning algorithms have been applied in these domains to address challenges such as balancing the distribution of bikes throughout a city and identifying demand hotspots for ride sharing drivers. However, these algorithms applied to challenges in sociotechnical systems have exacerbated social inequalities due to previous bias in data sets or the lack of data from marginalized communities. In this paper, I will address how smart mobility initiatives in cities use machine learning algorithms to address challenges. I will also address how these algorithms unintentionally discriminate against features such as socioeconomic status to motivate the importance of algorithmic fairness. Using the bike sharing pro- gram in Pittsburgh, PA, I will present a position on how discrimination can be eliminated from the pipeline using Bayesian Optimization.