Algorithmic Governance Workshop

Dr Aisling de Paor and Dr Rónán Kennedy at the workshop






On 18th March 2016, Dr John Danaher and Dr Rónán Kennedy hosted a workshop on algorithmic governance at NUI Galway. The workshop was co-sponsored by the College of Business and Law at NUIG and the Whitaker Institute. The prompt for the workshop was the following statement:

“The past decade has seen an explosion in big data analytics and the use of algorithm-based systems to assist, supplement, or replace human decision-making. This trend raises many interesting questions for those who care about effective and legitimate public governance. In addition to questions around privacy, algorithms allow the translation of political values and policies into computer code. The training and education of computer programmers and systems designers typically does not include a detailed examination of these topics. Technologists often think of the tools that they use as not containing or implicating values. While proponents of algorithmic governance argue for its low cost, effectiveness and efficiency, more sceptical commentators claim that these developments are troubling and should be resisted.

The goal was to consider the various barriers to effective and legitimate algorithmic governance, and to identify potential research questions and methodologies. The workshop consisted of three panel sessions featuring short 12 minute talks and then a ‘collective intelligence’ workshop, facilitated by Dr. Michael Hogan from NUI Galway’s School of Psychology.

  • Report from Collective Intelligence Workshop