AlgorithmWatch, a non-profit research and advocacy organisation committed to evaluating and shedding light on algorithmic decision-making processes that have a social relevance, meaning they are used either to predict or prescribe human action or to make decisions automatically, has recently published their opinion on automated decision making systems in fighting the Covid-19 scourge.

The introduction to their position paper reads as follows:

“As the COVID-19 pandemic rages throughout the world, many are wondering whether and how to use automated decision-making systems (ADMS) to curb the outbreak.

Different solutions are being proposed and implemented in different countries, ranging from authoritarian social control (China) to privacy-oriented, decentralised solutions (MIT’s ‘Safe Path’).

What follows is a set of possible principles and considerations on which to ground an informed, democratic and useful discussion regarding the use of ADMS in the current pandemic.”

A copy of the paper is embedded below and can be downloaded directly from AlgorithmWatch’s website.