We’re suing the federal government to be free to do our research
The Conversation - 03/27/2017
Our own research seeks to identify these problems through study and scholarship, without needing to wait for whistle-blowers to spill the beans. We leverage real users and fake accounts created by us to compile data from online services. Using these data, we try to tease out how black-box algorithms work: What data do they use? How do user characteristics affect the output of the algorithm? Does the system do things that a normal person might find questionable? Of course, companies view their algorithms and data sets as proprietary, and are loath to open them up to outside scrutiny, especially when it may reveal embarrassing things (like attempts to manipulate law enforcement).