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Owen King PIAI Colloquium Series — "Self-fulfilling Prophecy in Practical and Automated Prediction"

Thursday, January 30, 2020
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Watson Hall
Room: 517
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The Department of Philosophy and School of Computing Colloquium Series presents

Owen King (University of Twente),

"Self-fulfilling Prophecy in Practical and Automated Prediction"

Date: Thursday, January 30th, 2020

Time: 3:00 pm

Watson Hall, Room 517

Some seemingly innocent predictions turn out to be not so innocent after all.  This is so with self-fulfilling prophecies, which are predictions that somehow bring about their own truth.  In this talk, I will present philosophical research on self-fulfilling prophecies, with special attention to contexts of practical prediction.  The focus on practical prediction, as opposed to scientific prediction, is motivated by the aim of addressing self-fulfilling prophecies in the use of predictive analytics.  After introducing several examples, I will lay out a general theory and definition of self-fulfilling prophecy.  Then I will develop a normative analysis.  This analysis comes in four layers, reflecting interrelated problems regarding both moral and epistemic responsibility.  I will close with a brief discussion of the risk of recommender systems producing self-fulfilling predictions of consumer preferences.


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Sheena Wilkinson
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