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Ben Green is a PhD Candidate in Applied Math at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and an Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

He studies the implementation and impacts of data science in local governments, with a focus on “smart cities” and the criminal justice system. Analyzing the intersections of data science with law, policy, and social science, Ben focuses on the social justice and policy implications of data-driven algorithms deployed by governments. His forthcoming book, "The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future," will be published in early 2019 with MIT Press.


Projects & Tools

Responsive Communities

Responsive Communities addresses issues of social justice, civil liberties, and economic development involving Internet access and government use of data. More


Publications

Feb 27, 2017

Open Data Privacy Playbook

This report codifies responsible privacy-protective open data approaches and processes that could be adopted by cities and other government organizations. More


Community

Harvard Magazine

Cities Too Smart for Their Own Good?

There is a lot of hype about “smart cities,” but Ben Green argues the tools may have darker potential.

May 2, 2019
Boston Globe

Can predictive policing help stamp out racial profiling?

Some algorithms assume crime in one location leads to others nearby. Others identify specific people most likely to be involved in violence. Both can lead to discrimination.

Apr 17, 2019
Redtail

A Talk with Smart City Skeptic, Ben Green

Ben Green's work as a data scientist in city governments informed his critical view of the "smart city" tech that could influence city life and society for decades to come.

Apr 14, 2019
StateScoop

'Smart city' technology alone cannot solve social problems, author argues

Ben Green argues that cities are adopting “smart” technology without thinking through the political ramifications of the technology.

Apr 12, 2019
MIT Press

The Smart Enough City

Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future

Taking an exclusively technical view of urban life will lead to cities that appear smart but under the surface are rife with injustice and inequality

Apr 9, 2019
Harvard Law Today

The “Smart Enough” City

Can the cities of tomorrow be both technologically advanced and socially just?

The promise of Smart Cities often fails to acknowledge the complex political and social factors of cities, which may cause short and long term harms to residents and democracy

Mar 21, 2019
Metropolis

Cities Are Not Technology Problems: What Smart Cities Companies Get Wrong

Many companies equate new technology with innovation, but actual innovation in cities means using tech in concert with bureaucracy, on-the-ground awareness, and challenging political choices.

Innovation can mean more than just "use new technology."

Mar 4, 2019
New York Times

In High-Tech Cities, No More Potholes, but What About Privacy?

“We increasingly see every problem as a technology-related problem, so the solution is more technology”

Jan 1, 2019
scholar.harvard.edu

Disparate Interactions: An Algorithm-in-the-Loop Analysis of Fairness in Risk Assessments

How do people respond to the predictions made by pretrial risk assessments?

Nov 29, 2018
arXiv.org

Data Science as Political Action

Grounding Data Science in a Politics of Justice

"Data scientists must recognize themselves as political actors and adopt an explicit politics of social justice."

Nov 6, 2018
Medium

Regarding the usage of surveillance equipment in the City of Boston

It is urgent that Boston develop policies that comprehensively account for what surveillance means today.

Jun 19, 2018
Medium

Putting the J(ustice) in FAT

Ben Green calls for the disentanglement of the concepts of unfairness and injustice within the Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency movement.

Feb 26, 2018

Events

Feb 19, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

The Smart Enough City

Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future

VIDEO & PODCAST: Why technology is not an end in itself, and how cities can be “smart enough,” using technology to promote democracy and equity. More

Apr 17, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Honoring All Expertise: Social Responsibility and Ethics in Tech

featuring Kathy Pham & Friends from the Berkman Klein Community

Learn more about social responsibility and ethics in tech from cross functional perspectives featuring social scientists, computer scientists, historians, lawyers, political… More