Automated decision making algorithms are now used throughout industry and government, underpinning many processes from dynamic pricing to employment practices to criminal sentencing. Given that such algorithmically informed decisions have the potential for significant societal impact, the goal of this document is to help developers and product managers design and implement algorithmic systems in publicly accountable ways. Accountability in this context includes an obligation to report, explain, or justify algorithmic decision making as well as mitigate any negative social impacts or potential harms.
We begin by outlining five equally important guiding principles that follow from this premise:
Algorithms and the data that drive them are designed and created by people There is always a human ultimately responsible for decisions made or informed by an algorithm. "The algorithm did it" is not an acceptable excuse if algorithmic systems make mistakes or have undesired consequences, including from machine learning processes.
Published by Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning (FAT/ML) in Principles for Accountable Algorithms, Jul 22, 2016 (unconfirmed)