Published: 24 September 2019

Grant won to investigate accountability amidst the rise of automated decision-making

Surrey Business School’s Dr Itziar Castello, Senior Lecturer in Digital Economy will lead on the research project entitled "Algorithmic Accountability: Designing Governance for Responsible Digital Transformations”, granted just over £900,000 by the Research Council of Norway. The University of Surrey is one of the key partners in this project, together with Harvard University, University of St. Gallen, University of Groningen and the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society.  

Emerging technologies, such as ‘smart’ connected ecosystems, wearable devices, and various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are reshaping human-machine interaction across social, industrial, and political domains. At the center of this technological shift are computerized algorithms, with the central function of automation in decision-making processes. Their widespread adoption for various cognitive tasks has created an era of accelerated innovation, however this is posing greater and greater challenges to our governments and legal system which are struggling to keep up to apply a general principle around accountability and transparency once decisions are taken.

Since reliance on algorithms in any capacity de-centers people as the sole holders of decision-making authority, the main objective of this project is to offer a business ethics perspective on how social, commercial, and political actors on both a local and global scale can ensure accountability in algorithmic decision-making processes.

The research team are aiming to tackle issues associated with algorithmic opacity and will research and develop accountability measures which can be adopted and tailored for local settings, such as the unique regulatory environments of Norway and the EU.

The project offers a holistic balance of research and innovation activities and will be grounded in corporate social responsibility, paying close attention to how systems must be held accountable to restrict social exclusion or discrimination. Ultimately this project aims to explore and answer the fundamental questions around the use of AI for public good and sustainable development in society.



Find out more about Surrey Business School’s research from the Department of the Digital Economy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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