Looks Like New: Can algorithms be fair?

If you’ve noticed your social media platforms and web searches are giving you personalized results or advertisements, you might be curious about how or why this happens. This is the work of algorithms—the programming that computers use to take raw data and do something with it.

While algorithms might be used as a type of buzzword, knowing what they are and how they function can be really useful. In this episode, we have a conversation with Jessie J. Smith, a researcher whose work with algorithms spans from topics of literacy to fairness.

What happens when algorithms are unfair, and can they ever truly be fair?


CU Boulder’s MEDLab’s radio show and podcast, Looks Like New, asks old questions about new tech.

Each month, host Nathan Schneider and the Looks Like New team speaks with people who work with technology in ways that challenge conventional narratives and dominant power structures. The name comes from the phrase “a philosophy so old that it looks like new,” repeated throughout the works of Peter Maurin, the French agrarian poet and co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement.

You can hear Looks Like New the fourth Thursday of every month at 6 p.m., or by podcast on iTunes.