WS 7: Human vs. algorithmic bias – is unbiased decision-making even a thing?

Rapporteur: Katharina Hone, Geneva Internet Platform

  • Algorithmic bias is a particular concern regarding sensitive decisions with human rights implications. Ultimately, the outcomes of machine learning should be seen as only one input into decisions eventually taken by humans.
  • A broad understanding of bias is warranted to address discrimination and harm. Bias can materialise at all steps of developing and using a particular AI system. This includes decisions about the algorithms, data, and the context in which the system is used. There are also mechanisms to make humans and machines work together better for better decisions.
  • Policies need to mitigate risks of algorithmic decision-making. Constraints, safety mechanisms, audit mechanisms, and algorithmic recourse all need to be in place. In addition, it is crucial, as a first step, to work towards greater transparency and explainability of AI systems involved in decision-making. Databases that list the AI systems and data in use should be considered, as well as bans on the use of certain AI systems with high risk and high harm.
  • A number of technological companies have self-regulation mechanisms in place at various levels. Self-regulation of the private sector is important but ultimately not enough. Various regulatory efforts need to complement each other and greater cooperation between various stakeholders is needed to create synergies.
  • Equality and fairness are values that have a strong cultural connotation. They are important principles to address bias, yet it is not easy to find an intercultural agreement on some aspects of these principles. Addressing algorithmic bias also needs to include discussion on what kind of society we want to live in in the future.

Source: https://comment.eurodig.org/eurodig-2021-messages/ws-7-human-vs-algorithmic-bias-is-unbiased-decision-making-even-a-thing/