Transparency in Algorithmic and Human Decision-Making: Is There a Double Standard?

Philosophy and Technology:1-23 (forthcoming)
Authors
James Maclaurin
University of Otago
Alistair Knott
University of Otago
Abstract
We are sceptical of concerns over the opacity of algorithmic decision tools. While transparency and explainability are certainly important desiderata in algorithmic governance, we worry that automated decision-making is being held to an unrealistically high standard, possibly owing to an unrealistically high estimate of the degree of transparency attainable from human decision-makers. In this paper, we review evidence demonstrating that much human decision-making is fraught with transparency problems, show in what respects AI fares little worse or better and argue that at least some regulatory proposals for explainable AI could end up setting the bar higher than is necessary or indeed helpful. The demands of practical reason require the justification of action to be pitched at the level of practical reason. Decision tools that support or supplant practical reasoning should not be expected to aim higher than this. We cast this desideratum in terms of Daniel Dennett’s theory of the “intentional stance” and argue that since the justification of action for human purposes takes the form of intentional stance explanation, the justification of algorithmic decisions should take the same form. In practice, this means that the sorts of explanations for algorithmic decisions that are analogous to intentional stance explanations should be preferred over ones that aim at the architectural innards of a decision tool.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13347-018-0330-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 37,146
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.
Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes.Paul M. Churchland - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.Daniel C. Dennett & Jon Hodge - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Algorithmic Accountability and Public Reason.Reuben Binns - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):543-556.
The Threat of Algocracy: Reality, Resistance and Accommodation.John Danaher - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (3):245-268.
Social and Creative Decision Making.Carl Martin Allwood & Marcus Selart - 2010 - In Carl Martin Allwood & Marcus Selart (eds.), Decision making: Social and creative dimensions. Springer Media.
The Contextual Stance.Gordon R. Foxall - 1999 - Philosophical Psychology 12 (1):25-46.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-09-05

Total downloads
21 ( #307,291 of 2,308,512 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #23,264 of 2,308,512 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature