Professor Marc Rotenberg: Algorithmic transparency will be a key in the AI Age

Professor Marc Rotenberg, President of Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Member of AIWS Standards and Practice Committee emphasized the importance of algorithmic transparency in policy formulation in the AI Age at AIWS Conference on September 20, 2018 at Harvard University Faculty Club.

“Many of the debates around the employment of AI techniques have the same focus with the debates associated with the use of computing technology and government agencies back in the 1960s and 1970s”, said Prof. Marc Rotenberg, President of Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). In Prof. Rotenberg’s opinion, the core interest and the protection of privacy is not about secrecy or confidentiality, it is about the fairness of the processing concerning data on individuals. Part of the problem is that as these systems have become more sophisticated, they have also become more opaque. These systems are widespread and have enormous impact on the lives of individuals, for that reason, individuals have the right to know the movement of automated decisions. Together with EPIC, Prof. Rotenberg is sending the message to the United States Congress that algorithmic transparency will be key in the AI Age to foster public participation and policy formulation.

He mentioned that the OECD (The international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) has already commenced work on AI guidelines and the Japanese government – one of its members has put forward principles about the AI policies for R&D. Therefore, Prof. Rotenberg urges for deployment as there is a rapidly growing gap between informed government decision-making and the reality of our technology-driven world warning that “governments may ultimately lose control of these systems” if they don’t take action.