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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the relationship between AI systems and the concept of accountability. To understand accountability in the context of AI systems, one must begin by examining the various ways the term is used and the variety of concepts to which it is meant to refer. Accountability is often associated with transparency, the principle that systems and processes should be accessible to those affected through an understanding of their structure or function. For a computer system, this often means disclosure about the system’s existence, nature, and scope; scrutiny of its underlying data and reasoning approaches; and connection of the operative rules implemented by the system to the governing norms of its context. Transparency is a useful tool in the governance of computer systems, but only insofar as it serves accountability. There are other mechanisms available for building computer systems that support accountability of their creators and operators. Ultimately, accountability requires establishing answerability relationships that serve the interests of those affected by AI systems.

Keywords: AI systems, accountability, transparency, computer systems, AI governance

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