Algorithmic Fairness in Mortgage Lending: From Absolute Conditions to Relational Trade-Offs

Lee, M.S.A., Floridi, L. Algorithmic Fairness in Mortgage Lending: from Absolute Conditions to Relational Trade-offs. Minds & Machines (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11023-020-09529-4

27 Pages Posted: 6 May 2020 Last revised: 10 Jun 2020

See all articles by Michelle Seng Ah Lee

Michelle Seng Ah Lee

University of Cambridge

Luciano Floridi

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Date Written: March 23, 2020

Abstract

To address the rising concern that algorithmic decision-making may reinforce discriminatory biases, researchers have proposed many notions of fairness and corresponding mathematical formalizations. Each of these notions is often presented as a one-size-fits-all, absolute condition; however, in reality, the practical and ethical trade-offs are unavoidable and more complex. We introduce a new approach that considers fairness—not as a binary, absolute mathematical condition—but rather, as a relational notion in comparison to alternative decision-making processes. Using US mortgage lending as an example use case, we discuss the ethical foundations of each definition of fairness and demonstrate that our proposed methodology more closely captures the ethical trade-offs of the decision-maker, as well as forcing a more explicit representation of which values and objectives are prioritised.

Keywords: algorithmic fairness, mortgage discrimination, fairness trade-offs, machine learning, ethics

Suggested Citation

Lee, Michelle Seng Ah and Floridi, Luciano, Algorithmic Fairness in Mortgage Lending: From Absolute Conditions to Relational Trade-Offs (March 23, 2020). Lee, M.S.A., Floridi, L. Algorithmic Fairness in Mortgage Lending: from Absolute Conditions to Relational Trade-offs. Minds & Machines (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11023-020-09529-4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3559407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3559407

Michelle Seng Ah Lee (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge ( email )

15 JJ Thomson Ave
William Gates Building
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0FD
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://compacctsys.soc.srcf.net/team/

Luciano Floridi

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

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