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Ben Green is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. He has a courtesy appointment at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University (with a secondary field in Science, Technology, and Society). Ben studies the ethics of government algorithms, with a focus on algorithmic fairness, human-algorithm interactions, and AI regulation. His book, The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future, was published in 2019 by MIT Press. Ben is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and a Fellow at the Center for Democracy & Technology. He was previously a postdoctoral scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows.

Projects & Tools


Responsive Communities

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


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.



The Flaws of Policies Requiring Human Oversight of Government Algorithms

Ben Green argues that human oversight policies allow the government to use flawed or controversial algorithms without addressing the fundamental issues with the tools — and…

Sep 10, 2021

The False Comfort of Human Oversight as an Antidote to A.I. Harm

Ben Green opines that people may put too much faith in human oversight of AI.

Jun 15, 2021

Privacy Versus Health Is a False Trade-Off

As tech firms team up with governments to fight the coronavirus pandemic, we’re being asked to accept a trade-off between our digital privacy and our health. It’s a false choice,…

Apr 17, 2020
New Books in Technology Podcast

The Smart Enough City

Ben Green joins Jasmine McNealy on the New Books in Technology podcast

Jan 20, 2020

Shared E-Scooter Users Risk not Just Injury but Also Their Privacy

BKC report proposes responsible privacy-protective approaches for cities

Aug 23, 2019

Take off your tech goggles

Ben Green offers insights into why technology is not an end in itself

Aug 16, 2019
The New York Times

Smile, Your City Is Watching You

Local governments must protect your privacy as they turn to “smart city” technology.

Jun 27, 2019
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

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

'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 8, 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

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”

Dec 31, 2018

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

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

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

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


Dec 6, 2022 @ 12:30 PM

Algorithmic Discrimination & Fairness: Reducing the Gap Between the Legal & Technical?

There is a vast body of legal and technical literature focused on what fairness means in the context of algorithms and how fairness can be measured. This panel explored the…

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.

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…