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Monday, April 10, 2017

The California Law Review examines bias in the ZPD!

Art from Sunderance, by TheWyvernsWeaver
Order in the court!  It is now time to hear the opinion of Chief Justice Updog of the Zootopia Supreme Court on the case of Ruminant Defense League v. Zootopia Police Department!

In a completely unexpected turn of events, two authors for the legal journal California Law Review have put together a case study for a civil suit filed against the ZPD.  Titled "Incomprehensible Discrimination", the case tackles a very difficult question: Is it legally acceptable for an employer to make hiring decisions based on the recommendations of analytics models and Big Data, and is there any inherent bias found in these recommendations?

This is a big question that we face today in the world we live in, and one we need to think about seriously.  However, since most people take one look at a legal document and just go "nope", the authors of this piece decided to couch this issue in a fictional setting.  Zootopia provided the perfect analog for their discussion, and turns what might have been seen as boring into a paper that is legitimately fun to read while still conveying the larger issue at hand.  It's intellectually stimulating, funny, and full of references to our favorite film.

From establishing the "Bellwether Index" to Clawhauser using "what is your favorite Gazelle song" as a data point in the analytics, this is the first time I've ever laughed while reading a serious legal case.  I absolutely recommend you read it.

You can find the case here, and let us know what you think about both the paper, and the issue in question, down in the comments!

4 comments:

  1. Really cool find and interesting! But, that's all I can say for now.

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  2. Is it bad I can understand this, and was considering doing it myself? It is, isn't it?

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    Replies
    1. Not at all! Something about this movie is really encouraging the lawyer side of the internet, it seems...

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  3. Chief Justice Updog? What is Updog?

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