Accountable Artificial Intelligence: Holding Algorithms to Account

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© 2020 The Authors. Public Administration Review published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The American Society for Public AdministrationArtificial intelligence (AI) algorithms govern in subtle yet fundamental ways the way we live and are transforming our societies. The promise of efficient, low-cost, or “neutral” solutions harnessing the potential of big data has led public bodies to adopt algorithmic systems in the provision of public services. As AI algorithms have permeated high-stakes aspects of our public existence—from hiring and education decisions to the governmental use of enforcement powers (policing) or liberty-restricting decisions (bail and sentencing)—this necessarily raises important accountability questions: What accountability challenges do AI algorithmic systems bring with them, and how can we safeguard accountability in algorithmic decision-making? Drawing on a decidedly public administration perspective, and given the current challenges that have thus far become manifest in the field, we critically reflect on and map out in a conceptually guided manner the implications of these systems, and the limitations they pose, for public accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-836
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


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