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Algorithmic Accountability in India: Issues with AI-based systems and how to challenge them in court

Algorithmic systems can be rife with inaccuracies and often render results which could lead to the exclusion of citizens from democratic processes, said Srinivas Kodali, an independent researcher at the round-table on algorithmic accountability in India, hosted by Divij Joshi, tech policy fellow at Mozilla. Several speakers outlined the many inherent issues with algorithmic systems, and pondered on ways that litigations could be filed against them. The discussion was held in partnership with MediaNama. Following is Part of II of our notes from the discussion, and you can find Part I here. Quotes have been edited for clarity. Issues with algorithmic systems Algorithmic system can lead to exclusion of people from functions of a democracy: Kodali recounted how around forty lakh voters in Telangana and about thirty lakh voters in Andhra Pradesh were deleted from electoral rolls after respective state governments set out on an automated electoral roll purification drive. “What Telangana in particular did, was that it had the data of citizens which it collected through a Grand survey post bifurcation. From there, it just used all the data to identify people based on their location. They were essentially comparing the address on the Aadhaar card and the address on the voter ID, which we know could often be  different since  people have different residential and permanent addresses,” he said. Despite the issues last time around, the state has no intentions of stopping, however. “Telangana now has a new digital ID based on facial recognition where it wants to…

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