Summer Centered: Tosin Alliyu '18 Investigates the Role of Ethics in Technology
Tosin Alliyu '18 is studying bias in computer-generated decisions in her research internship with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sorelle Friedler.
Have you ever wondered about the relationship between ethics and technology or wondered how computer-generated decisions impact discrimination in society? Tosin Alliyu '18 has, and those are just some of the issues she is grappling with this summer as part of her KINSC-sponsored research internship with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sorelle Friedler.
Alliyu, a rising sophomore, is assisting Friedler in her research on computational fairness, which aims to understand, analyze, and resolve the issue of how computer-generated decisions can lead to discrimination towards underrepresented minorities.
“This research project adds to the new and growing discussion of instilling a form of ethics and morals into today's technology,” says Alliyu,“[so that] technology does not become an entity that acts in such a way that harms humanity.”
Having recently completed her first year of college, Alliyu is considering a major in computer science along with a concentration in peace, justice, and human rights — academic interests that align within her current research project.
Alliyu is also working with Tionney Nix '17 on this research, and she enjoys the balance of independent work and opportunities for collaboration the project engenders. Nix and Alliyu are working on different aspects of the project: Nix is working on the technical aspects of the project such as fixing the website and running test data. Alliyu, on the other hand, is primarily dealing with theoryâ€”researching to help develop a definition of fairness using cross-disciplinary studies of fairness in economics, law, philosophy, and computer science.
“I get the chance to collaborate with both Sorelle and Tionney, and share and exchange ideas in an attempt to gain advice and new insights on certain topics,” she says.
—Hina Fathima '15
"Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students' Center-funded summer work.