We are delighted to announce another November event, taking place on 25 November 2016 at 4pm in Room 1.18 of the David Hume Tower. Our speaker will be Dr John Danaher (NUI Galway), who will present on the following topic:
The Logical Space of Algocracy: A Guide to the Territory
An ‘algocracy’ can be defined as any governance system in which computer-coded algorithms structure, nudge, influence, constrain, control (etc.) the behaviour of its human subjects. In recent years, several authors have expressed concerns about the rise of such algocratic governance systems, suggesting that they have important repercussions for the future transparency, fairness and efficiency of governance. Although I agree with many of these authors, I argue that the extant discussions of this phenomenon are lacking in nuance. There are many different types of algocratic system. Some are unexceptional, some are welcome, and some are worrisome. To date, authors have tended to only distinguish between 2-3 or three different types. To get a clearer picture of the landscape of possibilities, I take Christian List’s framework for mapping out the logical space of democratic decision-procedures and apply it to the algocracy debate. I argue that for any given system there are at least 4^4 different types of algocracy. I then provide a quick guide to some of the more significant possibilities within that logical space, highlighting the legal, ethical and political issues they may raise.
The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome and no registration is required.