Deciding about, by, and together with algorithmic decision-making systems

  • Duration: -
    Funding Organization: Volkswagen Stiftung

    Prof. Dr. Katharina A. Zweig
    University of Kaiserslautern-Landau

    To understand better the social influence of algorithmic decision-making (ADM) systems on future society, the project "Deciding about, by, and together with algorithmic decision-making systems"critically investigates ADM systems in the criminal justice system from multiple and intersecting disciplinary perspectives. The focus of our analysis is on how humans decide about the construction and implementation of an ADM system in a particular social context; how ADM systems make automated decisions i.e. how humans decide by letting an ADM system decide; and how humans make decisions together with an ADM system. The goal of the analysis is to highlight the context-dependency of decision-making, which is, at present, poorly addressed in the development and implementation of ADM systems.  Prior to the use of ADM systems, this context-dependency was accounted for through the exercise of discretion by humans (e.g. judges, prosecutors etc.), based on their knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system, typically acquired from years of training and experience.  This analysis will enable us to identify general situations in which the context of the decision is so highly relevant that a machine should not (given the current state of the technology) make automated decisions without active human oversight. Therefore, we develop general guidelines that can assist in determining the conditions under which humans should make decisions, when and how they could be supported by machines, and when machines alone are best suited to make decisions.  These findings will provide the foundation for identifying principles to inform how best to distribute decision-making authority between humans and machines more generally. The Algorithm Accountability Lab focuses on the computer science perspective of the project.

AI Focus Areas of the Research Project

  • Basic Research

    • Technology Analysis: Social and Legal Framework, Ethical Aspects, Social Justice Aspects, Legal Aspects: Regulation, Transparency, Liability, Copyright

  • Application related Research

    • Smart Assistant Systems: Predictive Analysis
    • Information Retrieval (Knowledge / Data Management and Analysis): Decision Support
    • Technology Analysis: Non-Discrimination, Traceability / Explainability, Technology Assessment