Algorithm

Automating Society Report: Increased deployment of automated decision-making: Transparency, oversight and competence are still lacking

Over 100 use cases of automated decision-making systems in 16 European countries have been compiled by a research network for the 2020 edition of the Automating Society report by Bertelsmann Stiftung and AlgorithmWatch. The report shows: Even though algorithmic systems are increasingly being used by public administration and private companies, there is still a lack […]

AlgoRail: Digitalization helps reduce prescription fraud in Portugal

In 2019, 97% of the prescriptions in the public health sector of Portugal were electronic. At the seventh stop of our AlgoRail through Europe, Paula Simoes reports that whilst the digitization of the system has led to an optimization of resources and reduced costs, a major benefit was a crackdown on medical prescription fraud – a reduction by 80% during the first year.  In 2016, the “paperless prescriptions” program and the electronic […]

AlgoRail: Staying in the UK despite Brexit – with the help of a mobile App

EU citizens can obtain permissions to stay in the UK via a mobile app. The partly automated checking has allowed for quick processing of the first 3 million applications. At the fourth stop of our AlgoRail through Europe, Hugo Barbieux explains the app’s functionality and the reasons why both some young and old users’ despair over the app. Pablo Duro is a PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University. A few months ago, he received the “Pre-Settled” status, […]

The Urgent Need for Robust Trust – Cultivating an environment in which algorithmic decision-making serves society

On February 19, 2020, the European Commission published its “White Paper on Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust” and launched a consultation. We welcome the European Commission’s effort to harmonize AI regulation and create an ecosystem in which algorithmic decision-making systems work for people and become a force for good in society. In […]

3 questions for … Marina Jirotka and Helena Webb

Marina Jirotka (Professor of Human Centred Computing) and Helena Webb (Senior Researcher) work at the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science, in the Human Centred Computing theme. From 2016 to 2018 they participated in the research project “UnBias: Emancipating Users Against Algorithmic Biases for a Trusted Digital Economy”, a collaboration with the Universities of […]

Automated Decisions: Europe must speak with one voice

Automated decisions have become a part of many Europeans’ daily lives. Whether for job searches in Finland, healthcare functions in Italy, or the identification of neglected children in Denmark, such systems are coming into use in many EU countries – often for core public-administration functions. Will the EU be able to develop a common response […]

What Europe Knows and Thinks about Algorithms

“Algorithm” has become one of our era’s prominent buzzwords, with hardly any political or economic debate lacking some reference. Media coverage of algorithms is also growing dramatically – today, the topic can even be found on newspapers’ front pages. However – or perhaps because of this – it is worth taking a look beneath the […]

All I want for christmas is a quality criteria catalogue for algorithms.

Data scientists roaming the room, visitors having busy conversations, christmas jingles in the background, setting the mood for the evening. Last week I presented the #algorules project at the Berlin based Data Science Agency idalab, asking questions like “What standards of quality could algorithms be held to?” and “How is it possible to make sure that these standards […]

Using algorithms to predict death: Lessons learned

Animals are extraordinary beings. Oscar the cat, for example. Adopted as a kitten by the staff at a nursing home in the United States, he grew up surrounded by people with end-stage dementia. At some point staff members noticed something unusual: Oscar did not interact much with people, but when he made himself comfortable next […]

How algorithms can save people from an early death

It’s a scene characteristic for medical series such as House, MD or ER: An alarm goes off and the rapid response team rushes in to revive a patient. But what if the warning had come hours before the life-threatening event actually occurred? The US Food and Drug Administration recently greenlighted a system designed to provide […]

Opinion Piece: Why we need a CERN for AI

The late visionary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was not only a leading scientist in the study of black holes, quantum mechanics and cosmology, he also professed strong views about artificial intelligence (AI). AI, he warned, could be “the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which.”  Hawking’s fear was that not […]