Overview of Breakout Sessions

The purpose of this workshop is to develop ideas that will further define the problem space, the key problems and the critical questions that need to be answered to make progress toward understanding, developing, and evaluating of Trustworthy Algorithmic Decision-Making.

There will be 4-5 parallel sessions during each time set aside for breakouts on the agenda. Each parallel session will focus on one of the high-level themes that emerge from the note-taking and affinity diagramming during the first half of Day 1. Workshop participants will rotate through the different themes, working on a different theme during each scheduled breakout session. Each breakout session has a specific focus: Brainstorm, Synthesize, “How might we…”, and Problem Statement, such that a small group will be working on each theme during each stage, and then hand off their work to the group working on that theme during the next stage. At each stage, the groups will be randomized so that everyone gets to meet, work with and bounce ideas off of new people.

Each parallel breakout session is 1 hour and 15 minutes long; the last 15 minutes should be spent capturing and documenting for the next group. Don’t forget to do quick introductions first thing during each breakout session!

Roles and Responsibilities

Parallel Breakouts | Stage 1: Brainstorm

The goal of this activity is to creatively generate ideas and background information to add content and context and further develop the theme. This is an expansion phase, not a reduction phase. The main output of this phase is the documented ideas that the group generates.

Parallel Breakouts | Stage 2: Synthesize

The goal of this activity is to build on the idea generation in the previous phase, and identify the big ideas and key concepts related to the overarching theme. The main output of this phase is at least 3-5 “insight statements” about problems that need to be understood better and/or solved, along with text to describe each insight.

Parallel Breakouts | Stage 3: “How Might We…”

The goal of this activity is to expand on the insight statements, and rephrase them as questions that need to be answered. This transforms the thinking about the insights into opportunities for future research and design activities. The main output of this phase is one question per insight statement, along with notes captured from the discussion.

Parallel Breakouts | Stage 4: Problem Statement

The goal of this activity is to select one problem statement from the candidates produced in the previous session, and further describe it. The main output is a presentation about it that you will deliver to all of the workshop participants after lunch on Day 2.

The presentation should cover the following:

  1. What is the problem and why is it important?
    • define key terms and identify stakeholders
    • provide a scenario/example that illustrates the problem
    • what are the best sources of information about the problem?
  2. Why is this a difficult problem?
    • describe the scope of the problem
    • what are the important unsolved/poorly specified aspects?
  3. Why is progress possible?
    • describe what progress would look like; how would we recognize it?
    • approaches likely to make progress
  4. What are the barriers for success, and how might we mitigate them?
    • ideas, training, incentives, resources (time, funding, data, etc.)…