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  1. Abstract

    Over the past several years, a multitude of methods to measure the fairness of a machine learning model have been proposed. However, despite the growing number of publications and implementations, there is still a critical lack of literature that explains the interplay of fair machine learning with the social sciences of philosophy, sociology, and law. We hope to remedy this issue by accumulating and expounding upon the thoughts and discussions of fair machine learning produced by both social and formal (i.e., machine learning and statistics) sciences in this field guide. Specifically, in addition to giving the mathematical and algorithmic backgrounds of several popular statistics-based fair machine learning metrics used in fair machine learning, we explain the underlying philosophical and legal thoughts that support them. Furthermore, we explore several criticisms of the current approaches to fair machine learning from sociological, philosophical, and legal viewpoints. It is our hope that this field guide helps machine learning practitioners identify and remediate cases where algorithms violate human rights and values.

     
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  2. Over the past several years, multiple different methods to measure the causal fairness of machine learning models have been proposed. However, despite the growing number of publications and implementations, there is still a critical lack of literature that explains the interplay of causality-based fairness notions with the social sciences of philosophy, sociology, and law. We hope to remedy this issue by accumulating and expounding upon the thoughts and discussions of causality-based fairness notions produced by both social and formal (specifically machine learning) sciences in this field guide. In addition to giving the mathematical backgrounds of several popular causality-based fair machine learning notions, we explain their connection to and interplay with the fields of philosophy and law. Further, we explore several criticisms of the current approaches to causality-based fair machine learning from a sociological viewpoint as well as from a technical standpoint. It is our hope that this field guide will help fair machine learning practitioners better understand how their causality-based fairness notions align with important humanistic values (such as fairness) and how we can, as a field, design methods and metrics to better serve oppressed and marginalized populaces. 
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