FEBRUARY 19

Machine Influencers and Decision Makers

Jane Bambauer
Professor of Law
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Machine learning is shaping human lives in both obvious and subtle ways. Important economic and legal decisions about credit, employment, and criminal justice are already made with the aid of complex algorithms, raising difficult questions about whether machines can make decisions that are accurate and fair. Machine learners can become biased when the programmed objectives or the training data used to teach the algorithm are flawed. On the other hand, machines have some advantages over humans since they do not apply pre-existing assumptions and can more quickly recognize unexpected patterns. Machine learning also affects the human experience by creating advertising, suggestions, chat-bots, and even auto-generated news articles tailored to the individual. The government has some power to constrain artificial intelligence, but there are practical and constitutional limits to legal interventions.

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