Trimming the FAT framework
February 7, 2019 7:00 AM Subscribe
A Mulching Proposal: Analysing and Improving an Algorithmic System for Turning the Elderly into High-Nutrient Slurry
The ethical implications of algorithmic systems have been much discussed in both HCI and the broader
community of those interested in technology design, development and policy. In this paper, we explore
the application of one prominent ethical framework—Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency—to
a proposed algorithm that resolves various societal issues around food security and population ageing.
Using various standardised forms of algorithmic audit and evaluation, we drastically increase the
algorithm’s adherence to the FAT framework, resulting in a more ethical and beneficent system. We
discuss how this might serve as a guide to other researchers or practitioners looking to ensure better
ethical outcomes from algorithmic systems in their line of work.
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