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Quakers and Business Group
Promoting Quaker values in Business and the Workplace

Promoting justice in computer decision making

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from pixabay.com

 

Q&B members Martin Lloyd, Eoin McCarthy and John White founded the Just Algorithms Action Group (JAAG) in 2019 in response to the injustices observed in Universal Credit. Their concern is with the delegation of decision-making to systems based on algorithms and machine-learning software for which there is no ethical and regulatory framework. 

It sprang from observing systems based on using ML software.

JAAG is a non-profit trust with six aims:

  1. Discover and raise awareness of how modern rule-, algorithm- and artificial intelligence (AI)- based decision-making systems are being used, and their potential for bias and injustice. 
  2. Discover and explain, in ordinary language, the processes used to create, modify, implement, and use them. 
  3. Share concerns about the ethical deficit in AI & machine learning systems creation. These arise from the absence of an ethical and regulatory framework, supported by standards and protocols, which can be applied to all aspects of the development, implementation, and use of these systems.
  4. Help develop best practice. 
  5. Help set up a professional body for commissioners, designers, auditors, and users of rule-based and algorithm-enabled systems. 
  6. Work with others to create momentum for beneficial change, initially in the United Kingdom. 


So far, JAAG has

  • Successfully launched its seminar series.  See here:  https://www.jaag.org.uk/seminar-recordings  to watch the video of our 14th January seminar “Teaching the Ethics of AI to Computer Science Students”  held on 14th January 2021. 

  • Provided input to UK government policy through the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in February 2021. Their reaction is awaited. 

  • Provided well-received input on UK government policy through the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), March 2020. and is currently preparing a document for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

  • Gained coverage in UK national press about the 2020 “A” level algorithm fiasco.  

  • Provided a keynote speaker (Dr Siani Pearson) at the PriSec conference on privacy and security in Austria, November 2020.

 

Join JAAG

JAAG membership is growing. 31 Q&B members have already joined, and the group is planning to continue to grow rapidly in the next 12 months. We welcome any other interested Friends. This is a subject that is steadily increasing in importance.
for more information see the JAAG website. https://www.jaag.org.uk/

Members can contact Eoin McCarthy,  John White and Martin Lloyd directly through our membership database. Please log in.