When Machines Judge People – International Case Studies of Algorithmic Decision-making

Processes of algorithmic decision-making (ADM) now evaluate people in many areas of life. ADM processes have been used for years to categorize people, without any real discussion of whether those processes are fair or how they can be explained, verified or corrected. One potential reason for this is that the systems have little to do with artificial intelligence (AI) as it appears in science fiction. People often associate AI with qualities exhibited by fictional characters like HAL 9000 or Wintermute: intentionality and consciousness. Yet, until now, powerful AIs of this sort have only been found in literary works and films, and have nothing to do with the systems presented in this collection of case studies. The latter, however, already play a significant role in deciding legal matters, approving loans, admitting students to university, determining where and when police officers are on duty, calculating insurance rates and assisting customers who call service centers. All are programs which are specially designed to address specific problems and which impact the lives of many people. It’s not about the future according to science fiction, it’s about everyday reality today.

Full English Working Paper (PDF)

Full German Working Paper (PDF)

 



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