Making ethical futures more probable

Our Mission

We want to see the technology industry move forward with a strong moral compass. Using cross-disciplinary techniques and our expertise in data, applied engineering, and ethics, we implement projects and support organizations in responsible, smart decision-making. Our organization works using 7 guiding principles:

Explore technologies that could benefit our communities and world.
Support purpose-driven organizations in using technology to affect good.
Facilitate conversations that allow the impacts of technology to be better understood.
Create new standards for how individuals and commercial enterprises can be responsible and ethical with technology.
Raise awareness of the ethical implications of technological choices and advancements.
Improve the lives of those we work with and the communities we work in.
Promote creative expression and open standards within technical communities.

Our Services

Auditing and Technical Due Diligence

We have an internal process for performing audits of technical systems and data. Our specialty is benchmarking and assessing social impact issues such as fairness and bias, privacy, algorithmic accountability, and transparency.

Expert Consulting

We can provide a range of consulting services including specialized team development (e.g., AI or ML teams), data strategies, and oversight processes. With a wide network of design and engineering experts, we are well-suited to improve or augment your team or project.

Experiential Education

We have in-house training and educational materials to help your organization better understand ethical implications of technology. Ranging from custom training seminars to public programs to curricular materials, we take an experiential, creative, and hands-on approach to teaching and learning.

Public and Charitable Services

Our organization is dedicated to an informed public and open source technologies. Thus, we work with artists, educators, governments, and other charitable organizations to offer our expertise in data, machine learning, immersive and interactive media, and ethics, amplifying their capacity.

Public Work

Integrating Ethics within Machine Learning Courses

ACM Transactions on Computing Education

This paper establishes and addresses the current gap in ethics education in Machine Learning courses and demonstrates (1) the need for additional ethics to be taught within an ML educational setting, (2) a structured set of questions useful for identifying and addressing potential issues within an ML project and (3) novel course models that provide examples for how to practically teach ML ethics without skipping core course content.

The Authority of "Fair" in Machine Learning

FATML Conference Paper

We argue for the adoption of a normative definition of fairness within the machine learning community and end by suggesting ways to incorporate a broader community and generate further debate around how to decide what is fair in ML.

Quantified Self

CU Boulder Performance

With the support of the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, we created and produced a performance meant to discuss issues of technology ethics with the public. Alongside a team of 45 engineers, artists, and dramatists constructed an immersive experience that allowed people to interact with and question their relationship with data. Each audience member witnessed a sci-fi drama, conversed with actors and the audience, and played with up to 12 interactive data exhibits.

Our Team

Michael Skirpan
Michael Skirpan mwskirpan.com

Michael is an ethicist, engineer, writer, artist, educator, and concerned citizen based out of Pittsburgh, PA. He received his PhD from CU-Boulder's Department of Computer Science in Fall 2017. His thesis focused on the use of socio-technical narrative as a way of communicating, comprehending, teaching, and debating the ethics of new and near-future technologies. His research spans topics such as design fiction, technology ethics, fair machine learning, classroom design, engineering ethics pedagogy, futures, and risk. His work has been featured in top computer science publications, and major media outlets. In the past he has completed projects for Fast Forward Labs, University of Wisconsin, Knight Foundation, Google, Inclusive Design Insitute, and Ars Electronica.

Michael also currently serves as the executive director of Community Forge, holds an appointment as Special Faculty of Computing Ethics at Carnegie Mellon University, and is on the board of the Partnership for Advancing Responsible Technology (PART).

Micha Gorelick
Micha Gorelick micha.codes

Micha Gorelick is an engineer, published author, co-founder, open-source contributor and technology communicator based in Brooklyn. After working for a social media company for several years, Micha left concerned with the way technology was being used without concern for societal consequences. He co-founded and lead research at Fast Forward Labs, an applied machine learning and AI research lab, that researches/implements and communicates cutting edge algorithms for Fortune-100 companies, Government organization, non-profits, startups and academics. These topics range from deep learning to probabilistic programming and model interpretability. While consulting with these organizations on highly technical topics, Fast Forward Labs pioneered continually thinking about the ethics of the technology and the importance of narrative to further this conversation.

He currently spends a lot of his time helping journalists, activists and labor organizations find, use and interpret missing datasets in addition to using his technical skills to help performance arts. He is also a co-founder of Community Forge, and on the Advisory Board for PART.

Partners

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