Algorithmic Unfairness Through the Lens of EU Non-Discrimination Law: Or Why the Law is Not a Decision Tree

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Concerns regarding unfairness and discrimination in the context of artificial intelligence (AI) systems have recently received increased attention from both legal and computer science scholars. Yet, the degree of overlap between notions of algorithmic bias and fairness on the one hand, and legal notions of discrimination and equality on the other, is often unclear, leading to misunderstandings between computer science and law. In this paper, we aim to illustrate to what extent European Union (EU) non-discrimination law coincides with notions of algorithmic fairness proposed in computer science literature and where they differ. Ultimately, we show that metaphors depicting the law as a decision tree are misguiding. We suggest moving away from asking what should be equal, and towards asking why a particular distribution of burdens and benefits is right in a given context.

TidsskriftCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Sider (fra-til)805-816
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2023
Begivenhed2nd European Workshop on Algorithmic Fairness, EWAF 2023 - Winterthur, Schweiz
Varighed: 7 jun. 20239 jun. 2023


Konference2nd European Workshop on Algorithmic Fairness, EWAF 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 898937. We also thank the organisers of the Lorentz workshop on Fairness in Algorithmic Decision Making: A Domain-Specific Approach in March 2022 for bringing together a group of researchers with diverse disciplinary backgrounds as well as the participants for their valuable insights.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Copyright for this paper by its authors.

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