Google Research

Responsible Innovation for Machine Learning: Toward a Framework for Internal Algorithmic Audits

FAT* Barcelona, 2020, ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (ACM FAT* (2020) (to appear)

Abstract

Rising concern for the societal implications of artificial intelligencesystems has inspired a wave of academic and journalistic literaturein which deployed systems are audited for harm by investigatorsfrom outside the organizations deploying the algorithms. However,it remains challenging for practitioners to identify the harmfulrepercussions of their own systems prior to deployment, and, oncedeployed, emergent issues can become difficult or impossible totrace back to their source.In this paper, we introduce a framework for algorithmic auditingthat supports artificial intelligence system development end-to-end,to be applied throughout the internal organization development life-cycle. Each stage of the audit yields a set of documents that togetherform an overall audit report, drawing on an organization’s valuesor principles to assess the fit of decisions made throughout the pro-cess. The proposed auditing framework is intended to contribute toclosing theaccountability gapin the development and deploymentof large-scale artificial intelligence systems by embedding a robustprocess to ensure audit integrity.

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