News

Professor Patton explores the intersection of race, AI, empathy and social media and shares how his work uses qualitative and computational data collection methods to examine the relationship between youth and gang violence and social media, and how and why violence, grief, and identity are expressed on social media.

"I think that racism and bias are rampant in AI and data science from inception," said Desmond Upton Patton, associate professor of sociology at Columbia University. "It starts with how we conceive a problem [for AI to solve]. The people involved in defining the problem approach it from a biased lens. It also reaches down into how we categorize the data, and how the AI tools are created. What is missing is racial inclusivity into who gets to develop AI tools."

A confluence of events has made this the right time for enterprises to examine how racism gets embedded in AI systems. Is your leadership up to the challenge?

Read more.

So when Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society recently posted an article whose headline began, “Why AI Needs Social Workers…”… it caught my eye.

The article, it turns out, was written by Columbia University Professor Desmond Patton. Patton is a Public Interest Technologist and pioneer in the use of social media and artificial intelligence in the study of gun violence. The founding Director of Columbia’s SAFElaband Associate Professor of Social Work, Sociology and Data Science at Columbia University.

Read more.

One of President Trump's key ideas to stop mass shootings after El Paso and Dayton was to step up scrutiny of the Internet and social media's role in gun violence. But experts in both technology and gun policy say there's actually only limited research into the links between the two. 

Read more.

Predictive AI is too flawed — both technically and ethically — to prevent another El Paso or Dayton.

Read more.

Dr. Patton and our work are featured in this article on Mashable!

Read more.

"I'm concerned there isn't a way for the system to be corrected by the people and for the people," Patton said. "This is just going to lead toward a continued pathway of e-carceration and the over-criminalization of black and brown communities."

Read more.

Gun violence isn’t random. Both guns and violence spread like infectious diseases through social networks—in the real world and online. Understanding how gun violence spreads can help us control the contagion. Guests: Gary Slutkin, Founder of Cure Violence, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and TEDMED 2013 speaker; Andrew Papachristos, Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University; Desmond Patton, Associate Professor of Social Work at Columbia University; and Tomás Ortiz, former Latin Kings gang member and now violence interrupter in Chicago.

Hear more.

The National Academies' Roundtable on Data Science Postsecondary Education held a one-day meeting and webcast on "Motivating Data Science Education through Social Good" on December 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. The meeting brought together data scientists and educators in academia, government, and industry to 1) learn about academic, government, non-profit, and private sector projects promoting data science for socially desirable outcomes and their intersection with education and hiring, and 2) explore how socially motivated projects and topics can engage and excite students.

Chicagos Gangs bekriegen sich mittlerweile auch online. Und die Fehden im Netz heizen die Bandenkriege auf der Straße weiter an.

Read more.

The debate about AI systems being non-inclusive, sexist, and racist has been going on for a very long time. Though most of the time the blame is put on the training data, one of the key reasons behind this behavior is not having a diverse team.

Read more.

The jury’s out on the psychology behind sharing images or videos of violence and atrocities. But it’s clear people don’t respond to this content in the same way they would in the real world, said Desmond Upton Patton, associate professor of social work at Columbia University. “We have an ability to look with and engage with highly traumatic and violent content,” he said.

Read more.

What is the relationship between the version of you that lives online and the one that walks around the earth? We think of our online selves as shadow versions of us which we can control. But in this age when facts are malleable, something strange is happening: our online selves are sometimes eclipsing our real ones, even when we don't want them to.

In 2015, Chicago Public Schools officials quietly began checking out social media for signs of trouble among students that could lead to serious violence.

Dr. Desmond Patton comments.

Read More.

Associate Professor and SAFElab founder Desmond Upton Patton is one of 60 leaders from across the non-profit, military, public, and private sector fields to be selected for the fifth class of Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS).

Read More.