The Algorithmic Leviathan: Arbitrariness, Fairness, and Opportunity in Algorithmic Decision Making Systems
31 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2021 Last revised: 5 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 15, 2021
This article examines the complaint that arbitrary algorithmic decisions wrong those whom they affect. It makes three contributions. First, it provides an analysis of what “arbitrariness” means in this context. Second, it argues that arbitrariness is not of moral concern except when special circumstances apply. However, when the same algorithm or different algorithms based on the same data, are used in multiple contexts, a person may be arbitrarily excluded from a broad range of opportunities. The third contribution is to explain why this systemic exclusion is of moral concern and to offer a solution to address it.
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