Just Public Algorithmic Systems – What does it take?
Algorithmic systems are at the center of attention. Its use within the public sector is particularly a topic of debate. And rightly so, because its use can contribute to more effective services and policy. The use of algorithms in the public sector also entails risks and costs, certainly in the context of public administration, such as ensuring reliability of services, transparency of statements, and understanding the practical implications of using algorithms. Steps are already being taken in this regard, recently an algorithm register and algorithm watchdog were launched, and work has been underway on algorithm procurement conditions.
Are these types of instruments effective; how do they land in the operations of public organizations, how far do algorithmic systems actually go in real applications, and what are their implications in different domains and situations? These are just a few questions that we will have to answer together with all those involved. This requires a learning approach, in which practice, science, citizens and civil society are all needed. In addition, this issue does not respect disciplinary boundaries. It is simultaneously technical, normative, social, organisational, legal and administrative.
During the opening of the 'Transdisciplinary Center of Expertise for Just Public Algorithmic Systems' we would like, with all involved parties, to bring together the insights already gained as well as identify the outstanding questions and their specifications.
'Transdisciplinary Centre of Expertise for Just Public Algorithmic Systems' is an initiative of Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam, in cooperation with Waag and Kafkabrigade, and supported by a broad consortium of public, private and social organisations.