Fatal 4 Justice

The project “Deciding about, by and together with algorithmic decision-making systems”, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, examines how algorithmic systems are employed in criminal justice decision-making. It is an interdisciplinary and international project reuniting Prof. Anja Achtziger, Chair of Social & Economic Psychology, (Friedrichshafen), legal scientist and media researcher Prof. Wolfgang Schulz (Hamburg), Prof. Karen Yeung, working at the interface between law, ethics and informatics (Birmingham), computer scientist Prof. Katharina A. Zweig (TUK) and Prof. Dr. Georg Wenzelburger (TUK).

The project aims to shed light on which algorithmic decision-making systems are used and how they are used in the area of criminal justice, i.e. where highly consequential decisions are made. It furthermore critically evaluates how the use of such technologies alters decision-making, possibly in ways that collide with fundamental norms and values.  In doing so, the project will develop guidelines regarding in which contexts is the used of algorithmic decision-making is acceptable and justified.

The political science part of the project zooms in on how political actors adopt algorithmic decision-making systems in criminal justice. This involves two major goals. First, we will – in joint collaboration with the colleagues – build an inventory of all ADM-systems in use in the US states and describe their characteristics. Second, we will analyze quantitatively, how we can explain the variance between the US states concerning the extent of use and the choice of ADM-systems. This project will run for 48 months.