Spotting When Algorithms Are Wrong

Minds and Machines:1-22 (forthcoming)
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Users of sociotechnical systems often have no way to independently verify whether the system output which they use to make decisions is correct; they are epistemically dependent on the system. We argue that this leads to problems when the system is wrong, namely to bad decisions and violations of the norm of practical reasoning. To prevent this from occurring we suggest the implementation of defeaters: information that a system is unreliable in a specific case or independent information that the output is wrong. Practically, we suggest to design defeaters based on the different ways in which a system might produce erroneous outputs, and analyse this suggestion with a case study of the risk classification algorithm used by the Dutch tax agency.



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Herman Veluwenkamp
University of Groningen

References found in this work

Knowledge and Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):201-202.

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