Algorithmic Accountability

  • Assemble Nationale by Marina Landa/flickr.com (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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    Algorithmic Transparency and Platform Loyalty or Fairness in the French Digital Republic Bill

Algorithmic Transparency and Platform Loyalty or Fairness in the French Digital Republic Bill

Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay, Researcher at the Institute of Communication Sciences, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Paris Sorbonne, and Visiting Fellow at the LSE, examines the Digital Republic Bill, a new French Bill on digital rights and the impact it might have on citizens and their data.

On 26 January 2016, the French National Assembly voted […]

The Challenges of Researching Algorithms

In the debate on algorithmic accountability, and platform responsibility more specifically, the contribution of the social researcher is immense. In this set of posts, researchers reflect upon broad themes of control and agency — not only that which is faced by the data subject, but also by the researcher who relies on proprietary platforms to understand how these systems […]

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    Transparency has to be open to all and designed with a purpose in mind

Transparency has to be open to all and designed with a purpose in mind

Nick Anstead, Assistant Professor in the Department of Media & Communications at LSE, outlines a number of important issues related to the growing role of algorithms – be it in government, banking, information sharing or security – and the impact they are having on wider society.

One of the major problems that became apparent in our conversation was one I had encountered […]

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    With Algorithmic Accountability, Different Remedies Bear Different Costs for Consumers

With Algorithmic Accountability, Different Remedies Bear Different Costs for Consumers

Automated systems and decision making have transformed the ways in which our data is processed and analysed and, accordingly, how companies are able to use it. There are fears that data can be used to discriminate against vulnerable users in ways which are ‘unaccountable’. In this post, Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Acting Director of the LSE Media Policy Project, outlines some tools available to allow […]

Accountable machines: bureaucratic cybernetics?

Alison Powell, Assistant Professor at LSE, argues that the accountability of algorithms is intrinsically linked to governance structures and citizenship in society. Algorithms should be used to support decision-making for the benefit of society rather than to target individual consumers.

Algorithms are everywhere, or so we are told, and the black boxes of algorithmic decision-making make oversight of processes that regulators […]

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    Algorithmic Accountability, Trustworthiness and the Need to Develop new Frameworks

Algorithmic Accountability, Trustworthiness and the Need to Develop new Frameworks

Farida Vis, Research Fellow in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, investigates the issue of trust in the debate about algorithmic accountability, arguing that we should instead focus on ‘trustworthiness’ and that now is the time for a considered debate about algorithmic governance and accountability frameworks.

For 2016 the Oxford English Dictionary word of the year may very […]

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    Algorithmic accountability in scholarship: what we can learn from #DeleteAcademiaEdu

Algorithmic accountability in scholarship: what we can learn from #DeleteAcademiaEdu

Jean-Christophe Plantin, Assistant Professor in Media & Communications at the LSE, explores the intersection of algorithms, academic research and platforms for scholarly publications. He argues that there is a need to develop a values-centred approach in the development of article-sharing platforms, with suitably designed algorithms.

The networking and article-sharing platform academia.edu has been at the centre of a controversy in the academic […]

Accountable Algorithms (A Provocation)

Joshua Kroll, Systems Engineer at CloudFlare, Inc., presents the case for using techniques from computer science as the most appropriate means of reviewing the fairness of computerised decision making.

Consequential decisions which have historically been made through human-operated processes are increasingly being automated, leading to questions about how to deal with incorrect, unfair, or unjustified outcomes that emerge from […]

New Animisms (A Provocation)

How should we deal with the sorts of automated predictive systems that increasingly impact our lives? Mireille Hildebrandt of Vrije Universiteit in Brussels argues that we must learn to interact with the new mindless agents that now saturate what she terms “our onlife world”.

Law-as-we-know-it is premised on the fundamental distinction between mind as active, and matter as passive. This distinction no longer […]

Bittersweet Mysteries of Machine Learning (A Provocation)

Frank Pasquale, professor of law at the University of Maryland, reflects on the roles of machines and machine learning in today’s society, and to what extent ‘opaque’ algorithmic systems should be subject to human oversight. 

In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the mission-controlling computer HAL acts mysteriously, and ultimately malevolently. The theme of “technics out of control” animated several other […]