Algorithmic Long-Term Unemployment Risk Assessment in Use: Counselors’ Perceptions and Use Practices
Global Perspectives, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2020.12908
Posted: 24 Sep 2020
Date Written: June 23, 2020
The recent surge of interest in algorithmic decision-making among scholars across disciplines is associated with its potential to resolve the challenges common to administrative decision-making in the public sector, such as greater fairness and equal treatment of each individual, among others. However, algorithmic decision-making combined with human judgment may introduce new complexities with unclear consequences. This article offers evidence that contributes to the ongoing discussion about algorithmic decision-making and governance, contextualizing it within a public employment service. In particular, we discuss the use of a decision support system that employs an algorithm to assess individual risk of becoming long-term unemployed and that informs counselors to assign interventions accordingly. We study the human interaction with algorithms in this context using the lenses of human detachment from and attachment to decision-making. Employing a mixed-method research approach, we show the complexity of enacting the potentials of the data-driven decision-making in the context of a public agency.
Keywords: human detachment and attachment to decision-making, street-level bureaucrats, algorithmic decision-making
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