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ACM TechBrief: Policies Needed for Safer Algorithmic Systems

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The TechBrief recommends that enabling safer algorithmic systems must be a high research and policy priority of governments and all stakeholders.

Credit: ACM

A TechBrief released by ACM's global Technology Policy Council (TPC) warns the spread of algorithmic systems carries with it unaddressed risks.

The brief describes perfectly safe algorithmic systems as not possible, but suggests achievable steps can improve their safety and should be prioritized by governments and stakeholders.

The council urges the organizational development of a "safety culture that embraces human factors engineering" be "woven" into algorithmic system design.

The University of Maryland's Ben Shneiderman, lead author of the TechBrief, said algorithmic systems require safeguards similar to the review of new food products and drugs.

Said TPC TechBriefs Committee chair Stuart Shapiro, "As artificial intelligence and other complex consequential systems become more and more prevalent, the need to act to make them safer becomes more and more urgent."

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