Algorithms are no longer used only for automated data processing and information and knowledge generation, but are also increasingly becoming core elements of systems for automated decision support and execution of decisions. This includes decisions that have a significant influence on people’s way of living and their opportunities for free personal development and – as decisions on differentiation of individuals – raise questions of justice and equal treatment. Likewise, algorithms or the software systems containing them are used for behavioral control and thus themselves have a regulatory effect, a development which is discussed under the keywords “algorithmic regulation” or “governance by algorithms.”
The project aims to investigate possible needs for and approaches to governance, options for action or forms of regulation relating to the consequences of the use of algorithms, especially artificial intelligence. The options for actions are derived from the analysis of the risks to the realization of social values arising from the use of algorithms, such as the threat to informational self-determination, discrimination risks, and thus questions of justice and equal treatment or the threat to the rule of law. Further foundations are provided by investigations on different application types of algorithms that are considered particularly risky, as well as on the possibilities of realizing social values in the development and application of algorithms. In addition, existing governance structures are reviewed with respect to gaps in protection or regulatory problems.
The project’s work focuses on the further development of complex governance structures and on the functioning interaction of different areas, instruments, and forms of regulation as well as on the legitimacy and capability of development of the emerging governance structures. The study of algorithm- and data-based instruments for behavioral control will also examine in more detail the potential opportunities and limitations of governance through technology within complex institutional arrangements.
Project website: https://goal-projekt.de