Pub. online:20 Jun 2022Type:Data Science In ActionOpen Access
Journal:Journal of Data Science
Volume 20, Issue 3 (2022): Special Issue: Data Science Meets Social Sciences, pp. 381–399
Predictive automation is a pervasive and archetypical example of the digital economy. Studying how Americans evaluate predictive automation is important because it affects corporate and state governance. However, we have relevant questions unanswered. We lack comparisons across use cases using a nationally representative sample. We also have yet to determine what are the key predictors of evaluations of predictive automation. This article uses the American Trends Panel’s 2018 wave ($n=4,594$) to study whether American adults think predictive automation is fair across four use cases: helping credit decisions, assisting parole decisions, filtering job applicants based on interview videos, and assessing job candidates based on resumes. Results from lasso regressions trained with 112 predictors reveal that people’s evaluations of predictive automation align with their views about social media, technology, and politics.
Coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic have substantially altered the ways in which people learn, interact, and discover information. In the absence of everyday in-person interaction, how do people self-educate while living in isolation during such times? More specifically, do communities emerge in Google search trends related to coronavirus? Using a suite of network and community detection algorithms, we scrape and mine all Google search trends in America related to an initial search for “coronavirus,” starting with the first Google search on the term (January 16, 2020) to recently (August 11, 2020). Results indicate a near-constant shift in the structure of how people educate themselves on coronavirus. Queries in the earliest days focusing on “Wuhan” and “China”, then shift to “stimulus checks” at the height of the virus in the U.S., and finally shift to queries related to local surges of new cases in later days. A few communities emerge surrounding terms more overtly related to coronavirus (e.g., “cases”, “symptoms”, etc.). Yet, given the shift in related Google queries and the broader information environment, clear community structure for the full search space does not emerge.