Stories

“Explainable AI” doesn’t work for online services – now there’s proof

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New regulation, such as the GDPR, encourages the adoption of “explainable artificial intelligence.” Two researchers claim to have proof of the impossibility for online services to provide trusted expl…

Palantir, the secretive data behemoth linked to the Trump administration, expands into Europe

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The data analysis company, known in particular for running the deportation machine of the Trump administration, is expanding aggressively into Europe. AlgorithmWatch mapped some of its clients.

Facebook enables automated scams, but fails to automate the fight against them

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Scammers massively use Facebook’s advertising platform using so-called “cloakers” to evade automated checks. They would be very simple to detect but, despite announcements to the contrary, Facebook se…

Austria’s employment agency rolls out discriminatory algorithm, sees no problem

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AMS, Austria's employment agency, is about to roll out a sorting algorithm that gives lower scores to women and to the disabled. It is very likely illegal under current anti-discrimination law.

Ethical guidelines issued by engineers’ organization fail to gain traction

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The world’s largest professional association of engineers released its ethical guidelines for automated systems last March. A review by AlgorithmWatch shows that Facebook and Google have yet to acknow…

Defective computing: How algorithms use speech analysis to profile job candidates

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Some companies and scientists present Affective Computing, the algorithmic analysis of personality traits as an important new development in HR. But the methods that are used are more than dubious and…

Spain: Legal fight over an algorithm’s code

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Half a million Spaniards have been denied an electricity subsidy although they might be eligible. Non-profit Civio is going to court to obtain the source code of the software making the decisions.

Bad data and health: Garbage in, carnage out

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French investigative outlet Mediacités recently revealed how design failures in the user interface of software used in the country’s second-largest hospital endangered patients’ lives. Such software i…

Poland: Government to scrap controversial unemployment scoring system

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The Polish government has been forced to scrap a controversial scoring system for the unemployed after criticism by campaigners, judges and a human rights watchdog.

Sweden: Rogue algorithm stops welfare payments for up to 70,000 unemployed

By Tom Wills Automated decision-making has become a national talking point in Sweden, after a report by the country’s public broadcaster revealed thousands of unemployed people were wrongly denied ben…

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