Things that have caught my eye

Just a couple of links this time but both current and fascinating.

An Algorithm That Grants Freedom, or Takes It Away.
I know I go on an about “the ideology of algorithms” but this article gives a good idea of why it matters. Algorithms already deciding all sorts of things to do with people’s lives. Who gets to decide their priorities and how will we feel when we realise that they are already being applied to us?

when trust is lost.
Fascinating take on the Chinese response to the corona virus from my friend Harold Jarche.


2 thoughts on “Things that have caught my eye

  1. One element to look for in algorithms I think is if they are symmetric or asymmetric in how choices are treated. I just helped realise an automated subsidy allocation decision for Dutch regional government. Key element is that subsidy requests can be automatically awarded (cutting back the processing time from 13 weeks and payment in 17 weeks, to immediate and payment to under 5 days), but that requests cannot be automatically denied. If the automatic process can’t allocate automatically it goes to a civil servant that reviews the request and allocates or denies the subsidy. (Not coincidentally the GDPR forbids automated decision making about people, especially if that decision is detrimental to the person being decided about)


    1. Really interesting. I think it was an Oxford professor hook you up with the idea that automated systems will need “shepherding.” – increasingly so as they become more autonomous and learn faster.


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