Why worry about decision-making by machine?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter poses a deceptively simple question: what, precisely, are we concerned with when we worry about decision-making by machine? Focusing on fully automated decision-making systems, it suggests that there are three broad sources of ethical anxiety arising from the use of algorithmic decision-making systems: concerns associated with the decision process, concerns about the outputs thereby generated, and concerns associated with the use of such systems to predict and personalize services offered to individuals. The chapter examines each of these concerns, drawing on analytical concepts that are familiar in legal and constitutional scholarship, often used to identify various legal and other regulatory governance mechanisms through which the adverse effects associated with particular actions or activities might be addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlgorithmic Regulation
EditorsKaren Yeung, Martin Lodge
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9780198838494
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2019


  • machine decision-making
  • algorithmic regulation
  • automated decision-making
  • decision-making systems
  • regulatory governance


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