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UnBias Youth Jury: Who is in charge? You or the algorithm? (ESRC Festival of Social Science)

Horizon, Digital Economy Research Institute

Saturday, 11 November 2017 from 14:00 to 16:00 (GMT)

UnBias Youth Jury: Who is in charge? You or the...
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RSVP 28 Tickets 11 Nov 2017 Free  

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UnBias Youth Jury:   Who is in charge? You or the algorithm?

A youth-led discussion about algorithm fairness.

This workshop has been designed for 13 to 17 years old interested in understanding how the internet works. Contrary to public opinion, young people care about their personal data and want a digital world more transparent, a digital world they can trust. Little is known, for example, about how Amazon is able to tailor advertisements and recommend products that are actually interesting for potential online customers, or how Facebook decides which news Facebook users may be more inclined to read. All the mechanisms that support this filtering of information and products is obscure and internet users would like to know more about it, such as possible bias in the behaviour of the algorithm and, more important, have some control over these recommender and personalisation systems.

This event aims to closely work with young people to further understand how aware ‘digital natives’ are about algorithm fairness, their attitudes and main concerns, and recommendations when interacting with such systems. This information will help us to better understand the way young people interact with such systems and identify youth-led solutions for teaching critical thinking toward digital information systems. We will apply different engagement tools and methodologies as well as focus groups to facilitate discussion, reflection and a deeper understanding of youth online behaviour and youth-led solutions.

All participants will receive a £10 gift voucher for their contribution.


This event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, which takes place across the UK from 4-11 November 2017.



 Event Summary

In order to promote digital literacy among young people about algorithm bias, the UnBias team at Horizon, The University of Nottingham, presents an innovative format to bring people together and facilitate reflection about how recommender systems work. 

During the event, participants will be invited to become part of a ‘jury’ that will reflect and offer advice on:

  • What are fair algorithms?
  • How can we filter all the information contained on the www?
  • Are recommender systems transparent? 
  • Ways in which algorithms can affect us
  • How participants would like to manage their personal identity
  • Youth-led educational tools and policy recommendations
  • Ways of further engaging with young people in thinking about and acting upon algorithm bias

The event will last 2 hours in total (10am-12pm  or  2pm-4pm)
with time allowed for refreshment breaks.

You will get the chance to add your voice to a high-profile campaign on digital rights, while contributing on the development of educational material that will be available to participants, educators and guardians through the UnBias project ( Your participation will also contribute to policy recommendations to be presented to the UK minister for internet safety and security.



1. What do I gain from taking part?

  • Confidence and skills in team work, debate, and communication
  • Experience and a certificate of participation in a research project to add to a CV and job applications
  • A take-home leaflet with practical ideas to stop companies tracking your personal data
  • £10 gift voucher

2. I am under 16 years of age, do I need parental consent to participate in this workshop?
Yes. Once you register your participation, a researcher form the University of nottingham will contact you via email and send you all the documents required for you to take part in this workshop. We are going to collect participant's opinions and concerns regarding the way algorithms and recommender systems work. To collect this data, we need your consent and if you are a minor, we also need parental consent (this can also be done on the day of the session).

3. Who can I contact with any questions:
Dr. Elvira Perez
Monica Cano

Do you have questions about UnBias Youth Jury: Who is in charge? You or the algorithm? (ESRC Festival of Social Science)? Contact Horizon, Digital Economy Research Institute

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When & Where

Broadway Cinema
14-18 Broad Street
NG1 3AL Nottingham
United Kingdom

Saturday, 11 November 2017 from 14:00 to 16:00 (GMT)

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Horizon, Digital Economy Research Institute

Elvira Perez is a Senior Research Fellow interested in youth research participation and youth policy.

Ansgar Koene is a Senior Research Fellow interested in promoting responsible innovation and digital rights.

Monica Cano is a Research Fellow interested in co-constructing solutions with young people.

Virgina Portillo is a Research Fellow interested in research ethics.

Liz Dowthwaite is a Research Fellow interested in social media in general and webcomics in particular.

  Contact the Organiser
UnBias Youth Jury: Who is in charge? You or the algorithm? (ESRC Festival of Social Science)
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