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 focuses on social bias and the use of algorithmic technologies to analyze human behavior, particularly the behaviors of underrepresented social groups. My research probes the origins of social bias in data sets and its influence on algorithmic performance. 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).