Discrimination, Transparency and Accountability

Introduction to the ethics of algorithms

For a long time the term „algorithm” was used mostly by IT specialists among themselves. In recent years, however, this term made a spectacular career in professional circles of social sciences as well as in public discourses about the future of technology and society. This was not accidental, since more and more decisional procedures of our governmental and business environment rely, partly or entirely, on various methods of machine learning. We do not take much risk when stating that this is rather the beginning of the changes. This paper explores some characteristics of the „ecosystem” built on algorithms. The „political economy of algorithms” raises important questions regarding social inequalities, discrimination, new power and information asymmetries, transparency and accountability. These questions, in light of perceived or real promises of efficiency and security, are connected to the external control and influencing of privacy in many ways. This is why these will be inevitable political, economic and social questions of the coming era.

Released: Replika 103, 61–79.
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