Technology, Data, Social Equity

mark j diaz
@sonriks4 photography
I’m a research scientist with the Ethical Artificial Intelligence team at Google. I recently completed my Ph.D. in Technology & Social Behavior, a joint program in Computer Science and Communication at Northwestern University. My primary research probes the origins of social bias in data sets and its influence on algorithmic performance. Most recently, I have been exploring data annotation and the relationship between annotator positionality and the labels annotators produce in subjective tasks, such as sentiment annotation. I also explore approaches to involving members of underrepresented groups in the development and evaluation of data-driven systems.

My work has involved a systematic analysis of age-related bias in sentiment analysis models as well as an interview study with neighborhood residents to evaluate the Walk Score, a walkability metric used to measure quality of life. My other work has involved assessing low-income Chicago residents’ perceptions of city technology policy. I was advised by Darren Gergle and my other committee members were Nicholas Diakopoulos, Sheena Erete, and Anne Marie Piper.

Before beginning my doctoral work, I worked in Accenture Labs developing virtual reality mobile applications and worked as a research assistant and virtual reality programmer studying social identity in the Virtual Human Interaction Lab with Jeremy Bailenson at Stanford University (VHIL).