Algorithms, in both the broad and narrow senses of the word, affect practically every aspect of our daily lives. Algorithms decide which advertisements are shown on media such as Youtube (and sometimes get it wrong, causing producers of material to receive income from advertisements appearing with their material, when the advertisers would never consciously approve that material[Gua17], often causing public anger [Bir17, for example]), what prices we are quoted for airline flights [MPR09], and, in the USA, whether people get bail[ALMK16]. 
The House of Commons Select Committee on Science & Technology launched an inquiry into "algorithms in decision-making" on 28 February 2017. Both the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications and BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, submitted evidence, with the writing process coordinated by the author. The vote on April 19th for an early General Election terminated the inquiry: all submissions can be viewed at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/inquiry9/publications/. The aim of this article is to draw together the evidence and general points made in these submissions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-165
JournalMathematics Today
Issue numberAugust
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2017


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