Notes from the Electronic Cottage 3/10/22: Understanding Algorithms 2

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

On past programs, we’ve discussed how important a role algorithms play in our daily lives, mostly without us knowing they even exist, let alone how they work. As attention about the existence and importance of algorithms grows, there is a rising interest in understanding how algorithms arrive at decisions that affect our everyday lives. Several government regulators in this country and abroad have indicated that people affected by algorithmic decisions should have the right to an explanation of how they work. Sounds like a pretty simple request but really isn’t. Here’s why.

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.