Bookmark: "Algorithmic Transparency"

Sebastian Greger


Algorithmic Transparency

Maggie Appleton has a “Patterns” section in her digital garden that I very much enjoyed strolling through as we’re obviously thinking along the same lines.

The statement on algorithmic transparency cannot be overstated in today’s omni-automated world:

When an automated system recommends a piece of content, it should include an Epistemic Disclosure message explaining why it suggested it, and what factors went into that decision.

To me, this transparency requirement, here mostly featured through content display influenced by an algorithm, is of great importance in the context of #privacy UX as well: ensuring the user is aware and in control of all privacy implications from data processing taking place.

This equally ties into discussions of algorithmic accountability in legal design – in my article on ontologies in #legal design, I highlighted Monica Palmirani’s point that the ontology behind an artefact has to be made available:

it is […] crucial to create — and make available — a ontological representation of the designed context

In the second seminar of the “Conversations on Legal Design” series, Prof. Monica Palmirani introduced the concept of legal ontology — more specifically the requirement for legal design artefacts to maintain the detailed information of the legal context.