Assistant Professor of Information Science Solon Barocas will be the key speaker at the October 3 Tech/Law Colloquium. He will speak on "Regulation by Explanation" at 7 pm in Gates Hall G01.
From scholars seeking to unlock the black box to regulations requiring meaningful information about the logic of automated decisions, recent discussions of machine learning have turned toward a call for explanation. Champions of explanation charge that algorithms must reveal their basis for decision-making and account for their determinations. But so far, these calls lack a rigorous examination of what it means in practice for a machine learning system to explain itself, or how explanation might or might not vindicate the normative goals that its champions support. While machine learning might be made to comply with existing laws, doing so may not furnish the actionable insights or persuasive justifications imagined by scholars, regulators, and advocates.