Who decides what counts? AI and Big Data: Applications in economic and social science research
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data offer enormous potential for exploring and solving complex societal challenges. In the labor market context, for example, AI is being used to optimize bureaucratic processes and reduce errors in human decision-making. AI is also being used to recognize patterns in digital data traces. Data traces are created, for example, when people use smartphones or IoT devices to browse the internet.
Unfortunately, that all of this is deeply interwoven into its surrounding social and economic context is often ignored in the application of AI, and the importance of high-quality data is often overlooked. There is growing concern about the lack of fairness—an essential criterion for making good use of AI. Fairness in this context means the adequate consideration of different social groups in the database and in pattern recognition.
This talk outlines recent developments in the use of AI and Big Data in economic and social research. Frauke Kreuter explains the shortcomings in their application and how science can come to grips with issues of ethics and privacy without compromising the ability to reproduce and reuse the data. The talk also outlines the essential conditions for a successful and fair use of AI.
Professor Frauke Kreuter holds the chair of Statistics and Data Science in the Social Sciences and Humanities and is co-director of the Data Science Centers at the University of Maryland and the University of Mannheim.