Beyond State v. Loomis: Artificial Intelligence, Government Algorithmization, and Accountability

International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Forthcoming

24 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2019

See all articles by Han-Wei Liu

Han-Wei Liu

Monash University

Ching-Fu Lin

National Tsing Hua University

Yu-Jie Chen

Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica; New York University (NYU) - US-Asia Law Institute

Date Written: December 20, 2018

Abstract

Developments in data analytics, computational power, and machine learning techniques have driven all branches of the government to outsource authority to machines in performing public functions — social welfare, law enforcement, and most importantly, courts. Complex statistical algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) tools are being used to automate decision-making and are having a significant impact on individuals’ rights and obligations. Controversies have emerged regarding the opaque nature of such schemes, the unintentional bias against and harm to underrepresented populations, and the broader legal, social, and ethical ramifications. State v. Loomis, a recent case in the United States, well demonstrates how unrestrained and unchecked outsourcing of public power to machines may undermine human rights and the rule of law. With a close examination of the case, this Article unpacks the issues of the ‘legal black box’ and the ‘technical black box’ to identify the risks posed by rampant ‘algorithmization’ of government functions to due process, equal protection, and transparency. We further assess some important governance proposals and suggest ways for improving the accountability of AI-facilitated decisions. As AI systems are commonly employed in consequential settings across jurisdictions, technologically-informed governance models are needed to locate optimal institutional designs that strike a balance between the benefits and costs of algorithmization.

Keywords: State v. Loomis, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Algorithms, Black Box, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Accountability

Suggested Citation

Liu, Han-Wei and Lin, Ching-Fu and Chen, Yu-Jie, Beyond State v. Loomis: Artificial Intelligence, Government Algorithmization, and Accountability (December 20, 2018). International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3313916

Han-Wei Liu (Contact Author)

Monash University ( email )

900 Dandenong Road
CAULFIELD NORTH, Vic 3145
Australia
432161849 (Phone)

Ching-Fu Lin

National Tsing Hua University ( email )

Taiwan

HOME PAGE: http://https://chingfulin.net/

Yu-Jie Chen

Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica ( email )

128 Academia Sinica Rd., Sec. 2
Nankang
Taipei City, 11529
Taiwan

HOME PAGE: http://www.iias.sinica.edu.tw/en

New York University (NYU) - US-Asia Law Institute ( email )

139 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://usali.org

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