Last week, we revealed the programme schedule for Pycon Australia 2015 (2015.pycon-au.org/programme/about). This week, it's our pleasure to announce the first of our keynote speakers for 2015, Carina C. Zona, the founder of @CallbackWomen, an initiative that aims to reduce the well-documented gender disparity in speaker line-ups at programming conferences.
For some time now, through Schemas for the Real World Carina has been advocating for developers to address the ways that seemingly incidental details of how we structure our data models can have real and lasting impacts on the way people experience the software-mediated world around them.
This year, she is taking on a new challenge, and asking us to reflect seriously on the "Consequences of an Insightful Algorithm". In this era of large data sets, and rich analytical tools, we’re able to extract remarkably precise intuitions about individuals from seemingly innocuous information. But do we have a right to know details that users didn’t consent to share, even when they willingly shared the data that leads us to a particular conclusion?
What are our obligations to people who did not expect themselves to be so intimately known without sharing directly? How do we mitigate against unintended outcomes, as when a major social network inadvertently triggered painful memories for grieving families who’d recently experienced the death of their child or other loved ones?
As Carina puts it, "We design software for humans. Balancing human needs and business specs can be tough. It’s crucial that we learn how to build in systematic empathy."
She spends a lot of time thinking about the unexpected cultural effects of our decisions as programmers.
We can't wait to hear Carina's keynote and we are sure you will enjoy it as well.
PyCon Australia has endeavoured to keep tickets as affordable as possible. We are able to do so, thanks to our Sponsors and Contributors. Registrations for PyCon Australia 2015 are now open, with prices starting at AU$50 for students, and tickets for the general public starting at AU$240. All prices include GST, and more information can be found at http://2015.pycon-au.org/register/prices