Tackling the Grand Challenge of Algorithmic Opacity Through Principled Robust Action
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionMorals & Machines. 2021, 1 (1), 74-85. 10.5771/2747-5174-2021-1-74
Organizations increasingly delegate agency to artificial intelligence. However, such systems can yield unintended negative effects as they may produce biases against users or reinforce social injustices. What pronounces them as a unique grand challenge, however, are not their potentially problematic outcomes but their fluid design. Machine learning algorithms are continuously evolving; as a result, their functioning frequently remains opaque to humans. In this article, we apply recent work ontackling grand challenges though robust action to assess the potential and obstacles of managing the challenge of algorithmic opacity. We stress that although this approach is fruitful, it can begainfully complemented by a discussion regarding the accountability and legitimacy of solutions. In our discussion, we extend the robust action approach by linking it to a set of principles that can serve to evaluate organisational approaches of tackling grand challenges with respect to their ability to foster accountable outcomes under the intricate conditions of algorithmic opacity.