Managing Algorithmic Accountability: Balancing Reputational Concerns, Engagement Strategies, and the Potential of Rational Discourse

Journal of Business Ethics 163 (2):265-280 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

While organizations today make extensive use of complex algorithms, the notion of algorithmic accountability remains an elusive ideal due to the opacity and fluidity of algorithms. In this article, we develop a framework for managing algorithmic accountability that highlights three interrelated dimensions: reputational concerns, engagement strategies, and discourse principles. The framework clarifies that accountability processes for algorithms are driven by reputational concerns about the epistemic setup, opacity, and outcomes of algorithms; that the way in which organizations practically engage with emergent expectations about algorithms may be manipulative, adaptive, or moral; and that when accountability relationships are heavily burdened by the opacity and fluidity of complex algorithmic systems, the emphasis of engagement should shift to a rational communication process through which a continuous and tentative assessment of the development, workings, and consequences of algorithms can be achieved over time. The degree to which such engagement is, in fact, rational can be assessed based on four discourse-ethical principles of participation, comprehension, multivocality, and responsiveness. We conclude that the framework may help organizations and their environments to jointly work toward greater accountability for complex algorithms. It may further help organizations in reputational positioning surrounding accountability issues. The discourse-ethical principles introduced in this article are meant to elevate these positioning contests to extend beyond mere adaption or compliance and help guide organizations to find moral and forward-looking solutions to accountability issues.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,491

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Algorithmic Accountability and Public Reason.Reuben Binns - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):543-556.
Democratizing Algorithmic Fairness.Pak-Hang Wong - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 33 (2):225-244.
Ethical Implications and Accountability of Algorithms.Kirsten Martin - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 160 (4):835-850.
On logic of complex algorithms.Helena Rasiowa - 1981 - Studia Logica 40 (3):289 - 310.
Algo-Rhythms and the Beat of the Legal Drum.Ugo Pagallo - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):507-524.
Is Evolution Algorithmic?Marcin Miłkowski - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (4):465-475.
Responsibility, accountability and governance.John Kaler - 2002 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 11 (4):327-334.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-06-13

Downloads
25 (#535,689)

6 months
5 (#240,565)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?