CSDA screening tool in the spotlight

22 Jul, 2021
Professor Rhema Vaithianathan sitting arms crossed and looking at the camera.
Professor Rhema Vaithianathan

The work of AUT's Centre for Social Data Analytics (CSDA) in using computer algorithms for social good has been getting a lot of international news attention.

At the centre of the coverage is its Alleghany Family Screening Tool that helps call-centre operators identify at-risk children in Alleghany County, Pennsylvania.

Whether such algorithms introduce or exacerbate systemic bias is currently a hot topic.

However, the centre's screening tool has been shown to reduce racial disparities and does not remove humans from the process, says Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, CSDA Director and co-creator of the tool.

Recently, the algorithm has been covered by the Associated Press, appeared in Voice of America and features in the latest Scientific American Special Collector's Edition on "the science of overcoming racism".

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