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Joshua Kroll: Trust and Accountability in Computer SystemsWhen: Weds, April 10 | 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Where: Computer Science and Engineering Building, Room, 1242
Abstract: The increase in both ubiquity and importance of software systems in modern society causes a commensurate increase in demands that such systems uphold normative requirements, such as privacy, fairness, or accountability. However, while human decision-makers and bureaucracies are subject to time tested record-keeping, oversight, and control mechanisms, a governance gap often emerges when critical functions are replaced or augmented with software. This talk explores the nature of this gap through the twin lenses of trust and accountability, as conceptualized in computer security and in legal and political philosophy, respectively. This gap can be narrowed through careful system design. As an example, the talk presents a concrete system for building cryptographically auditable logs for automated decision-making systems that support robust analysis of procedural regularity, a foundational requirement of due process. Finally, the talk lays out a research agenda in the governance of software systems, framing research challenges and open questions around relating complex social, political, or legal norms to implementable engineering requirements.
Short bio: Kroll is a computer scientist studying the relationship between governance, public policy, and computer systems. As a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the School of Information at UC Berkeley, Joshua examines how technology, especially data science and machine learning, fits within a human-driven normative context. His paper, “Accountable Algorithms,” in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review received the Future of Privacy Forum’s Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award in 2017. Joshua’s previous work spans accountable algorithms, cryptography, software security, formal methods, Bitcoin, and the technical aspects of cybersecurity policy. Joshua holds an master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University, where he received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2011.