AlgorithmWatch: What Role Can a Watchdog Organization Play in Ensuring Algorithmic Accountability?
In early 2015, Nicholas Diakopoulos’s paper “Algorithmic Accountability Reporting: On the Investigation of Black Boxes” sparked a debate in a small but international community of journalists, focusing on the question how journalists can contribute to the growing field of investigating automated decision making (ADM) systems and holding them accountable to democratic control. This started the process of a group of four people, consisting of a journalist, a data journalist, a data scientist and a philosopher, thinking about what kind of means were needed to increase public attention for this issue in Europe. It led to the creation of AlgorithmWatch, a watchdog and advocacy initiative based in Berlin. Its challenges are many fold: to develop criteria as a basis for deciding what ADM processes to watch, develop criteria for the evaluation itself, come up with methods of how to do this, to find sources of funding for it, and more. This chapter provides first thoughts on how AlgorithmWatch will tackle these challenges, detailing its “ADM manifesto” and mission statement, and argues that there is a developing ecosystem of initiatives from different stakeholder groups in this rather new field of research and civil engagement.
Spielkamp M. (2017) AlgorithmWatch: What Role Can a Watchdog Organization Play in Ensuring Algorithmic Accountability?. In: Cerquitelli T., Quercia D., Pasquale F. (eds) Transparent Data Mining for Big and Small Data. Studies in Big Data, vol 32. Springer, Cham
Publisher Name Springer, Cham