Power, Process, and Automated Decision-Making

20 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2019

See all articles by Ari Ezra Waldman

Ari Ezra Waldman

New York Law School; Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy

Date Written: September 29, 2019


Many decisions that used to be made by humans are now made by machines. And yet, automated decision-making systems based on “big data” – powered algorithms and machine learning are just as prone to mistakes, biases, and arbitrariness as their human counterparts. The result is a technologically driven decision-making process that seems to defy interrogation, analysis, and accountability and, therefore, undermines due process. This should make algorithmic decision-making an illegitimate source of authority in a liberal democracy. This Essay argues that algorithmic decision-making is a product of the neoliberal project to undermine social values like equality, nondiscrimination, and human flourishing and, therefore, is only legitimate in a society that promotes neoliberal efficiency, technological solution-ism, and market freedoms over all other values. I then propose a new way to rein in the excesses of automated systems.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, algorithms, discrimination, neoliberalism, privacy

Suggested Citation

Waldman, Ari Ezra, Power, Process, and Automated Decision-Making (September 29, 2019). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 88, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3461238

Ari Ezra Waldman (Contact Author)

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States
212.431.2864 (Phone)

Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy ( email )

C231A E-Quad
Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States

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