It has become difficult to escape conversations about accountability of, for, and around algorithmic systems. Recently we saw discussions of the Boeing 737 MAX fatal software flaw, Volkswagen’s Dieselgate, and the Dutch (local) government being sued for using SyRI (System Risk Indication), a fraud risk indication system designed to help discern social security fraud. Accountability is by no means new territory. Yet, what does it mean to account for algorithms, and what do we need to account for? What, in other words, puts the “algorithmic” in algorithmic accountability, and how does that help us safeguard public values in the algorithmic systems that (are used to) govern/regulate us? In this lunch seminar, Maranke Wieringa will provide a brief overview of what algorithmic accountability entails, through the discussion of SyRI as a case in point.
Maranke Wieringa, MA, is a Ph.D. Candidate at Utrecht University, and has a background in Cultural Studies and Media Studies, with a specialization in software and data. Her dissertation investigates algorithmic accountability in Dutch municipalities. At Utrecht University, Maranke is part of the Datafied Society research platform, and teaches various courses on (scholarly) data analysis. Her academic interests lie at the intersection of software and data (e.g. tool criticism, algorithm studies).
The lunch seminar is organized by the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges and its project on “Disrupting Technological Innovation? Towards an Ethical and Legal Framework”.