Measures and fairness

Posted on May 16, 2022

A superb article popped in my twitter feed called Measurement and Fairness. The article, as the title implies, deals with the imaginary quantities (e.g. teacher quality) and how operationalising them via actual measurements is where the problem of using metrics (I use the word interchangeably with “measures”) lies; in terms closer to AI/statistics, how to you link latent variables with observed variables. What strikes me is how fragile the notion of latent variable creation is; one can create whatever metric/measure they want, operationalise it in whatever way they think suits them and use enough force and propaganda to reshape the world according to their fiction. I tend to disagree with Chalmer that these fictions created through latent variables are real, at least they do not feel real to me, but one cannot but notice that their impact is very real and ranges from wars to going to the moon.