Guest speaker is Niklas Eder, doctoral student in the PhD program "Unity and Difference in the European Legal Area" at the Humboldt University and the University of Leipzig. Together with the participants, he will discuss the impact of machine learning-based decision-making in companies. Johannes Schmees from the HBI will welcome the participants.
When: Thursday, 6 June 2021, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Where: online via Zoom
12.00 p.m. Welcome address: Johannes Schmees (HBI)
12.05 p.m. Niklas Eder (HU Berlin/ISP Yale): Beyond Automation: Assessing the Effects and Legitimacy of Corporate Machine Learning-Based Decision-Making
12.30 p.m. Discussion
Machine learning algorithms shape the decisions which automated decision-systems make and ultimately the effects that these systems have on the individual and society. They constitute the core of what is best referred to as machine learning-based (mlb) decision-making. Corporate mlb decision-making increasingly impacts the environment through which individuals navigate, it defines the opportunities they have in life, and the way they are perceived and treated. Legal scholarship examines normative implications of that impact and aspires to develop responses which mitigate harms caused by algorithmic systems. This scholarship presupposes an in-depth understanding of the effects and harms that it aspires to address. This article draws on surveillance theory to contribute to the development of this understanding. It analyses how mlb decision-making impacts the lives of individuals and transforms society. It develops two perspectives on the effects of mlb decision-making and, on their basis, revisits existing legal responses. It makes implicit assumptions on which the legal debate rests explicit and critically assesses these assumptions. It describes how mlb decision-making amplifies corporate power and argues that existing legal responses, focusing on rights, explainability and transparency, do not account for all harms of mlb decision-making. To adequately respond to the effects of mlb decision-making, the article argues, legal scholarship must overcome its individualistic focus and engage in a debate on the legitimacy of corporate surveillance. The article explains why and how we should measure legal responses to mlb decision-making against standards of legitimacy. It argues that the notion of legitimacy provides a foundation to tackle one of the great challenges with which steadily improving data processing capabilities confront liberal democracies — which is to reconcile corporate power with the values and freedoms central to these democracies.
About the Speaker
Niklas Eder is a doctoral student in the PhD programme "Unity and Difference in the European Legal Area" at Humboldt University and the University of Leipzig. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale since January 2020. His research focuses on big data, digital surveillance, manipulation and constitutional law. Niklas Eder is the founder and organiser of the lecture series "Law in the Algorithmic Society".
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About the Lecture Series
The "Hamburger Gesprächskreis automatisiertes Entscheiden [Hamburg Discussion Group on Automated Decision Making]", founded by Wolfgang Schulz and Matthias C. Kettemann in the context of the interdisciplinary research project "Deciding About, By and Together with Algorithmic Decision Systems", is aimed at researchers and practitioners from all disciplines who are interested in interdisciplinary perspectives on artificial intelligence and automated decision making.