“AI ethics in policy and action: city governance of algorithmic decision systems”, Andrea G. Rodríguez (CIDOB, Barcelona)

As digitalisation advances, cities are increasingly embracing the use of algorithmic tools to improve efficiency when allocating resources, face structural challenges such as climate change and deliver better and faster services to citizens. In spite of the benefits of using artificial intelligence, the wide array of future applications for cities has sparked debate about their ethical implications. Algorithmic tools can reproduce the society’s biases and result in indirect discrimination, especially of vulnerable groups. Algorithms used by law enforcement authorities have been proven to have lower accuracy rates when applied to racial minorities. For these reasons, the civil organisations AlgorithmWatch and Access Now issued a joint declaration calling for the establishment of rigorous transparency mechanisms and the creation of public registries of algorithms used by public authorities. Cities have entered the debate too.

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