We would like to invite you to a round-table discussion on algorithmic accountability in India, hosted by Divij Joshi, in collaboration with MediaNama, on June 4th (Thursday) 2020, at 11:30 AM IST. This is an online event, hosted on Zoom.

You can apply to attend this discussion here.
Link for the session will be shared with confirmed participants

The citizen-state relationship is increasingly mediated by automated or algorithmic decision making systems, ranging from systems that determine individual entitlements, to systems that assist in macro-level governance and planning.

The datafication and automation of this relationship poses challenges to democratic and participatory governance, particularly to traditional conceptions of transparency and accountability of state action or of socially consequential systems. These challenges arise both due to the inherent opacity of the technologies being embedded and utilised, including the use of large data sets and complex algorithmic assemblages (including modern artificial intelligence systems, utilising machine learning techniques); as well as structural causes, particularly the increasing outsourcing of governance functions to unaccountable private actors and the increasing reach of intellectual property and trade or data protection norms over such systems.

In India, government agencies have utilised algorithmic and automated decision-making tools ranging from biometric identification tools in the UIDAI project, to voter verification algorithms in the National Electoral Rolls Purification and Authentication Project. Increasingly, more complex algorithmic systems such as machine learning tools are being employed in policing setups (facial recognition) as well as other institutions like healthcare and taxation. Even as the movement to actualize the right to privacy gains traction, the lens of data protection must be expanded to incorporate concerns about the transparency and accountability of automated decision-making and algorithmic systems, as well as the legal and institutional frameworks in which they are embedded.

This roundtable discussion is intended to explore the challenges of automated decisions made within governmental setups, and how to tactically use and strategically employ existing legal standards mechanisms as means of accountability for such systems. It will bring together stakeholders from the fields of law and policy, journalism, community activism and technology development, to share their understanding of the subject and to deliberate on issues, concerns and solutions for algorithmic accountability.


11:30 AM – 11:45 AM: Welcome and Introduction
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM: Round-table discussion
12:30 PM – 01:00 PM: Q&A Session and Wrap-up

Note: You can apply to attend this invite-only discussion here, but registration does not guarantee attendance. We’ll send you a confirmation on or before June 2nd (Tuesday) 2020, along with a link for the session. Your contact information will never be shared with anyone outside of MediaNama.

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