Yesterday, NYT published a story announcing the news that I’d been nominated to take over a company that many in our space knew already: Rumman Chowdhury’s Parity. It should’ve been a moment of celebration for our company. But it wasn’t, because the reporter got it entirely wrong, erasing my friend and business partner (a celebrated woman of color) from the narrative of the very company that she had created. What follows is the real story of how Parity came to be, published here in the hope that any future coverage of our work will get it right.

Rumman Chowdhury founded…

A failure at Stanford teaches us the limits of medical algorithms

Close-up of Moderna vaccine. Photo: William Campbell/Getty Images

This story was co-authored by Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO of Parity, an enterprise algorithmic audit platform company.

“The algorithm did it” has become a popular defense for powerful entities who turn to math to make complex moral choices. It’s an excuse that recalls a time when the public was content to understand computer code as somehow objective. But the past few years have demonstrated conclusively that technology is not neutral and instead reflects the values of those who design it, and it is fraught with all the usual shortcomings and oversights that humans suffer in our daily lives.

Right before…

by Liz O’Sullivan and Susannah Shattuck

Last week, hundreds of Google workers shocked the world by announcing their unionizing efforts to the public. To those on the outside looking in, the fact that Google employees are organizing to make demands might be surprising — what could they possibly want, with their high salaries, free meals, and cushy perks? To many of us in the industry, however, the Alphabet Workers’ Union is just one part of a long-overdue reckoning for tech — I quit my job at AI company Clarifai almost two years ago for some of the same reasons that…

How algorithmic fairness applies to recommendation systems beyond the classic “binary classifier” case.

A graphic of Facebook Ads.
A graphic of Facebook Ads.
Facebook’s civil rights audit shows they have a long way to go.

As we turn to digital sources for news and entertainment, recommendation engines are increasingly influencing the daily experience of life, especially in a world where folks are encouraged to stay indoors. These systems are not just responsible for suggesting what we read or watch for fun, but also for doling out news and political content, and for surfacing potential connections with other people online. When we talk about bias in AI systems, we often read about unintentional discrimination in ways that apply only to simple binary classifiers (e.g. in the question “Should we let this prisoner out on parole?”, there…

We recently sat down with Arthur’s latest research fellow, Sahil Verma to talk about his work both inside and outside of the company.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I’m a first year PhD student at the Paul G. Allen School of Science and Engineering at UW, Seattle — I know that’s a long name! Before joining my grad school program I worked on a couple of things as an undergrad and one of the areas was fairness in machine learning. I published my first paper in this area in 2018 (“Fairness Definitions Explained”) expounding on…

The UK’s Data Protection Authority just issued much-anticipated guidance that clarifies the complicated issue of the GDPR’s ‘right to explanation’. Here is some background on the issue and what the new information means.

GDPR gives consumers the “right to an explanation”… but what does that mean?

Ever since the enactment of the GDPR, many in the AI industry have been quietly worrying about the enforcement of some of the policy’s lesser-known provisions. EU governments have been hard at work extracting massive fines from businesses left and right for their privacy practices, where lawmakers have thus far earned more than €335 million from companies within the last two years. The majority of fines have come from the abuse and accidental exposure of personal information.

Many questions around the enforcement of the GDPR remain. One in particular, which could result in fines as high as 4% of a…

Liz O'Sullivan

AI Activist, Pragmatic Pacifist, & Lover of Tinfoil Hats. VP Arthur AI (; Technology Director STOP (; Member ICRAC (.net). Views mine.

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