aspen institute

latest – june 2014:

aspen institute


Walter Isaccson – president, ceo


wikipedia small






The Aspen Institute is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1950 as the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies. The organization is dedicated to “fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues”. The institute and its international partners promote the pursuit of common ground and deeper understanding in a nonpartisan and nonideological setting through regular seminars, policy programs, conferences, and leadership development initiatives. The institute is headquartered in Washington, D.C., USA, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado (its original home) and near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay at the Wye River in Maryland. It has partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin,Rome, Madrid, Paris, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, Prague and Bucharest, as well as leadership initiatives in the United States and in Africa, India, and Central America.

The Aspen Institute is largely funded by foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation, by seminar fees, and by individual donations. Its board of trustees includes leaders from politics, government, business and academia who also contribute to its support. Board members include Madeleine Albright, Sylvia Earle, Henry Louis Gates, David Gergen, David H. Koch, Queen Noor of Jordan, and Condoleezza Rice. Walter Isaacson is President and CEO.


sept 2014 – Eric Liu:


feb 2016

What role do ethics play in guiding existing efforts to develop data and info technologies?

Original Tweet:


Leading thinkers from business, government, civil society, and academia explore and debate ethics in the age of the quantified society. What role do ethics play in guiding existing efforts to develop and deploy data and information technologies? Does data ethics need to develop as a field to help guide policy, research, and practice — just as bioethics did in order to guide medicine and biology? Why or why not?

data telling you just about youngest wealthiest – kate

data is always this act of imagination – form of creativity and selection – kate

what is data and where does it come from – ashkan

6 min – kindle unlimited – you pay a monthly fee you get bookish ness….collects new data.. author gets paid according to number of pages read – great ie of data where none previously existed… librarians.. protecting your right to read w/o govt knowing what you read.. another affect – i – as author – can change book – seeing they stopped at p 11. et al.. – jonathan

10 min – on public concern of experimentation.. now set of quite diff capacities… not traditionally a human subjects data position…  so how does data ethics get formed like bio ethics got formed – kate

12 min – on fb experimet – goldilocks and two bears .. 1 bear: zimbardo prisoner exp – uni’s ability to pull stuff out of us  2 bear: matter of course that fb test homepage to see what works better..  these 2 bears run into each other.. collide w/experiment called emotional contagium.. salt w/happy share happy, salt w/sad share sad, outrage w/in academy that there had not been consent  – jonathan

15 min – 3rd bear – review ing what you’re doing w/in – accountability – then on to voting tweaked by fb…  the capacity for very centralized sm platforms… – kate

17 min – a broader trend of trust of algorithms… actually nothing inherent to design or oversight mech’s that guarantee that… ie: map routes.. what if later find mapping service was linked to ads and trying to plan your route … we put a lot of faith/trust into systems… – ashkan

20 min – to what extent is transparency going to solve the problem – alexis

it’s a start – ie: food labeling… transparency but has to go beyond that ie: can’s have poison in it… we need to see if there’s an equivalent in this data ness.. – ashkan

22 min – too easy to lean on transparency and say you’re done – i like that we’ve already gone beyond experimentation.. and now beyond transparency.. saying.. you know .. maybe you should look out for us a little bit..  we ought to have some sense of fiduciary responsibility – ie: at least not screw your users over – jonathan

24 min – can’t we go a step further… than saying hey have our best interest at heart… we need something closer to due process… and fair access… – kate

26 min – sometimes the bias is in the data.. sometimes in the algo’s.. sometimes unintentional.. just in situation.. – ashkan

32 min – let’s construct ethical guidelines for data scientists – kate

37 min – 3 days ago – fitbit data used to disprove a rape case – problem.. easy to confuse fitbit – data that is unrealiable.. easily gamed..- kate

reason we need to not only change the data we focus on .. ie: self-talk as data but also the whole system… so that we’re not.. ie: science of people in schools.. but rather.. us…

41 min – big data’s promise – to be less unsure/uncertain.. – jonathan

? whoa..

43 min – q: how to control what data govt uses

overwhelming ness of data.. unhinging reason you’re collecting data in first place… – kate

not just govt collecting more data – more people aggregating/bringing together.. so in that form.. everyone wants to use it – ashkan

so again – away from shiny.. distracting charts/numbers/et al.. and toward data that matters… st as data

46 min – unlike nuclear waste.. we can snap our fingers and make it go away.. why are we availing ourselves of that opportunity..  – jonathan

50 min – on the difficulty on masking data… people’s actions don’t reflect that they care about data use and privacy in data… so policy makers don’t change… – ashkan

52 min – this is a systemic problem.. that seeks a systemic solution – jonathan

a nother way

for (blank)’s sake

ie: ps in the open et al