Algorithm over Regulations (?)

This scene is the best thing that can I relate to this particular topic. “But, the bells have already been rung and they’ve heard it. Out in the dark. Among the stars. Ding dong, the God is dead. The bells, cannot be unrung! He’s hungry. He’s found us. And He’s coming! Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding…“ (Hint Fellas: This is a great time to be not evil and check your models to avoid any kind of discrimination over their current or potential customers.)

European Union regulations on algorithmic decision-making and a “right to explanation - By Bryce Goodman, Seth Flaxman

Abstract: We summarize the potential impact that the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation will have on the routine use of machine learning algorithms. Slated to take effect as law across the EU in 2018, it will restrict automated individual decision-making (that is, algorithms that make decisions based on userlevel predictors) which “significantly affect” users. The law will also effectively create a “right to explanation_,” whereby a user can ask for an explanation of an algorithmic decision that was made about them. We argue that while this law will pose large challenges for_ industry_, it highlights opportunities for computer scientists to take the lead in designing algorithms and evaluation frameworks which avoid discrimination and enable explanation._

Conclusion: While the GDPR presents a number of problems for current applications in machine learning they are, we believe, good problems to have. The challenges described in this paper emphasize the importance of work that ensures that algorithms are not merely efficient, but transparent and fair. Research is underway in pursuit of rendering algorithms more amenable to ex post and ex ante inspection [11, 31, 20]. Furthermore, a number of recent studies have attempted to tackle the issue of discrimination within algorithms by introducing tools to both identify [5, 29] and rectify [9, 16, 32, 6, 12, 14] cases of unwanted bias. It remains to be seen whether these techniques are adopted in practice. One silver lining of this research is to show that, for certain types of algorithmic profiling, it is possible to both identify and implement interventions to correct for discrimination. This is in contrast to cases where discrimination arises from human judgment. The role of extraneous and ethically inappropriate factors in human decision making is well documented (e.g., [30, 10, 1]), and discriminatory decision making is pervasive in many of the sectors where algorithmic profiling might be introduced (e.g. [19, 7]). We believe that, properly applied, algorithms can not only make more accurate predictions, but offer increased transparency and fairness over their human counterparts (cf. [23]). Above all else, the GDPR is a vital acknowledgement that, when algorithms are deployed in society, few if any decisions are purely “technical”. Rather, the ethical design of algorithms requires coordination between technical and philosophical resources of the highest caliber. A start has been made, but there is far to go. And, with less than two years until the GDPR takes effect, the clock is ticking.

European Union regulations on algorithmic decision-making and a “right to explanation”