Project Meeting in Birmingham

For the January meeting of the Volkswagen-Stiftung-funded project “Deciding about, by, and together with algorithmic decision making systems”, the project groups met at Birmingham University. After reflecting on the previous achievements in the project, the meeting served to place a stronger emphasis on the law perspective and to focus more on the criminal justice dimension of the project.

We took some time to discuss scenarios that the Birmingham group had prepared with great effort. They were modeled after real cases in which ADM systems are used in the British criminal justice system and underscored the importance of dealing with the ways in which ADM systems may intervene in social practices, including in very sensitive areas. These scenarios as well as presentations by Professors Karen Yeung and Wolfgang Schulz helped to sharpen our understanding of what is at stake when using ADM systems in the criminal justice process and which decisions at the various stages need to be explicitly considered. Based on this input, we talked about the next steps and action points to be tackled in the second year of the project.

Besides having a very productive meeting, we also had the chance to experience the Indian cuisine of Birmingham and we learned about Old Joe, the university’s clock tower, apparently habing been an inspiration for the work of J.R. Tolkien.

Pascal König