In May last year, we were invited to an expert workshop of the iRight Lab and Algoethik, a project of the Bertelsmann Foundation on the topic of “Algo.Rules“. Algorules, in short, are ethical design criteria for algorithmic systems.
Algorithmic systems are being used in more and more areas of our everyday lives and thus have and significant impact on our daily lives. They sometimes make decisions that can have far-reaching consequences for the individual and also for society as a whole.
What are the Algo.Rules?
The Algo.Rules are a catalog of nine rules that should be followed to enable and facilitate socially beneficial design and appropriate use of algorithmic systems. These rules should already be considered during the development of the systems and implemented “by design”. The target audience of Algo.Rules is therefore anyone who has a significant impact on the development and deployment of algorithmic systems. Developers, programmers and designers have a special role to play here. The Algo.Rules are thus intended to help design algorithmic systems according to ethical standards. They were developed in an open, participatory and interdisciplinary process with over 400 stakeholders.
The core question addressed in the workshop was how the Algo.Rules can be integrated into the context of developers’ actions and how they can be technically concretized and implemented.
In small groups we as participants worked out different questions, for example
- Regarding relevance: which of the Algo.Rules are relevant for developers.
- Regarding concretization:
- How can the Algo.Rules be integrated into the context of action of female developers and implemented technically?
- What do the Algo.Rules mean in practice?
- How can individual aspects of the Algo.Rules, such as accountability or traceability, be solved technically?
- Regarding implementation: how could the Algo.Rules be implemented for female developers? What conditions must be met for developers to be able to implement the Algo.Rules?
The result: A practical guide
The outcome of the workshop can be found in a recently published practice guide. The guide is intended to support developers, programmers, designers and their superiors in implementing the Algo.Rules in their daily work practice.
The practical guide to the Algo.Rules – Orientation for developers and their managers can be downloaded free of charge here: https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/de/publikationen/publikation/did/praxisleitfaden-zu-den-algorules-all-1
We were very happy to be part of the workshop!
Participants (alphabetical): Ursula Garczarek, Jürgen Geuter, Irina Hardt, Marc Hauer, Johannes Hofmann, Stefanie Kegel, Ellen König, Ramak Molavi, Thomas Otto, Nadiem Sissouno, Tobias Sterbak, Detlef Steuer.
Illustration /Title page
Technology illustrations by Storyset
Photo: iRights Lab – Day Workshop Developers