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An article written by a company involved in developing software used in research talks about the concept of "ethically designed algorithms" which can be administered by an organisation that is akin to the "FDA of Algorithms" (Andrew Tutt, 2016).

The principles of ethically designed algorithms, as described in the article, embodies the following elements:

Responsibility

Make available externally visible avenues of redress for adverse individual or societal effects of an algorithmic decision system, and designate an internal role for the person who is responsible for the timely remedy of such issues.

Explainability

Ensure that algorithmic decisions as well as any data driving those decisions can be explained to end-users and other stakeholders in non-technical terms.

Accuracy

Identify, log, and articulate sources of error and uncertainty throughout the algorithm and its data sources so that expected and worst case implications can be understood and inform mitigation procedures.

Auditability

Enable interested third parties to probe, understand, and review the behavior of the algorithm through disclosure of information that enables monitoring, checking, or criticism, including through provision of detailed documentation, technically suitable APIs, and permissive terms of use.

Fairness

Ensure that algorithmic decisions do not create discriminatory or unjust impacts when comparing across different demographics (e.g. race, sex, etc).

Is there anything similar that has been developed for research in similar fields (e.g. Psychology or Medical Research) that is suitable for adaptation to UX design? Or does something like this already exist and is used?

  • I can't see a possible connection between EDA and UX... as I understand it, EDA is about things like automated yes/no decisions when applying for credit: with an EDA, you can't just "hide" behind "the computer says 'no'"; you have to be able to understand and explain why it said 'no'. Can't see how that fits into UX design... – TripeHound Nov 15 '18 at 9:54
  • @TripeHound I am interested in how some of the concepts apply to design when it comes to making sure that no harm is being done to the end user. This is the approach that the FDA takes to assessing pharmaceuticals in allowing them to be used for therapeutic purposes. UX design needs tighter ethical considerations because there is clear harm being done to users in some of the less than ideal practices that we see out there today. – Michael Lai Nov 16 '18 at 0:50

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