DELIA FERREIRA RUBIO: TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY OF ALGORITHMS

Delia Ferreira Rubio is Chair of Transparency International and an international lawyer focusing on political financing, technology and ethics. She tells us how society demands to be actively listened to, and what role technology and ethics play in the co-creation of public value.

Highlights of the interview:

  • Society wants to be listened to and understood by politicians and corporates. Building trust among all actors contributes to the well-being of the whole society. Knowledge today is no longer concentrated in one place; dialogue and participation are therefore essential.
  • The most successful initiatives today are multi-stakeholder. Success also depends on participation and genuine dialogue on strategic issues, not on superficial matters. The quality of dialogue is at stake.
  • Civil society organisations need to maintain their pressure on the public and private sectors to guarantee that the voice of people is heard on important topics.
  • Artificial intelligence is nothing else but a tool and needs to be used with a proper ethical framework. Here too the quality of input is key. So is the readability of data: Companies often fail to give proper access to information when using big data.
  • To be open and transparent today governments need to offer substantial dialogue with citizens and understand that access to information is only the start of a process of co-creation.
  • Technology can be biased, affect people, and lead to wrong decisions. Citizens have the right to know about what or who stands behind any algorithm and what bias lies behind algorithms. We need to continue discussing ethics and technology and better understand its challenges.
  • Blockchain in particular can be helpful to fight organised corruption as information is distributed to numerous recipients and allows for transparency, notably in the field of land registration. But Blockchain can also protect crypto-currencies that guarantee anonymity. For years, we have repeated “Follow the money!” but with Blockchain we loose opportunities to fight against corruption and organised crime.
  • Privacy rights continue to be challenged. In a world where truth is constantly being questioned, trust continues to decline.
  • Trust being at the core of public value, it has become urgent to address all issues related to the ethics of technology, and the governance of algorithms. Regulators need to address this new challenge to protect society.
  • New standards need to be discussed and co-created between society, business, and governments. As the world changes fast, multilateral organisations remain the best platform to defend human rights and transparency.
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