Algorithms, Accountability, #algacc
August 19, 2015 7:19 PM   Subscribe

"Algorithms are producing profiles of you. What do they say? You probably don’t have the right to know." Frank Pasquale, for Aeon: "Digital Star Chamber."

From the essay:
Algorithms are increasingly important because businesses rarely thought of as high tech have learned the lessons of the internet giants’ successes. Following the advice of Jeff Jarvis’s What Would Google Do, they are collecting data from both workers and customers, using algorithmic tools to make decisions, to sort the desirable from the disposable. ... Spokesmen and lobbyists for insurers, banks, and big business generally believe that key algorithms deserve the iron-clad protections of trade secrecy, so they can never be examined (let alone critiqued) by outsiders. ... But when algorithms start affecting critical opportunities for employment, career advancement, health, credit and education, they deserve more scrutiny.
Mentioned in the essay in the section on algorithmic accountability ("or #algacc for short"): Governing Algorithms, "A conference on computation, automation, and control at New York University, May 16-17, 2013." Conference talks are available for viewing.

On algorithms, previously and previously from me, also by Pasquale.
posted by MonkeyToes (1 comment total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I found this a thought-provoking read - thanks, MonkeyToes. I was struck in particular by the line: ‘IBM now uses algorithmic assessment tools to sort employees worldwide on criteria of cost-effectiveness, but spares top managers the same invasive surveillance and ranking.’ Perhaps exclusion from algorithmic assessment will increasingly become a kind of status-symbol: a intangible marker of prestige.
posted by misteraitch at 6:29 AM on August 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

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