Toward a Fourth Law of Robotics: Preserving Attribution, Responsibility, and Explainability in an Algorithmic Society
13 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 14, 2017
Jack Balkin makes several important contributions to legal theory and ethics in his lecture, “The Three Laws of Robotics in the Age of Big Data.” He proposes “laws of robotics” for an “algorithmic society” characterized by “social and economic decision making by algorithms, robots, and AI agents.” These laws both elegantly encapsulate, and add new principles to, a growing movement for accountable design and deployment of algorithms. My comment aims to 1) contextualize his proposal as a kind of “regulation of regulation,” familiar from the perspective of administrative law, 2) expand the range of methodological perspectives capable of identifying “algorithmic nuisance,” a key concept in Balkin’s lecture, and 3) propose a fourth law of robotics to ensure the viability of Balkin’s three laws.
Keywords: Algorithmic Society, Online Platforms, Internet Regulation, Algorithmic Discrimination, Nuisance Law, Balkin, Social Network Data, Algorithmic Accountability
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