Algorithms play an increasingly important role in decisions of public policy relevance. The Commission is carrying out an in-depth analysis into algorithmic transparency supported by a study tasked to raise awareness and build a solid evidence base for the challenges and opportunities of algorithmic decisions.

Algorithmic Awareness: Why it matters

Algorithmic transparency has emerged as an important safeguard for accountability and fairness in decision-making and for opening to scrutiny the way access to information is mediated online, especially on online platforms.

The European Commission is carrying out an in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities emerging in algorithmic decision-making, following the proposal of the European Parliament for a pilot project on this topic.

This work is supported by a study running for 16 months from March 2018. The study will conduct an in-depth policy-relevant analysis of the role of algorithms, in particular how they shape, filter or personalise the information flows that they intermediate.

Project Objectives

The project addresses a three-fold objective:

  1. Contribute to a wider, shared understanding of the role of algorithms in the context of online platforms, while raising public awareness and debate of emerging issues;
  2. Identify and delineate the types of problems and emerging issues raised by the use of algorithms, and establish an initial, scientific evidence-base for these problems;
  3. Design or prototype solutions for a selection of problems, including policy options, technical solutions and private sector and civil society-driven actions.

The study will build on robust scientific insights and research and will follow an open, participatory approach to policy design. The methodology will involve a strong engagement plan involving experts and academics, industry, civil society and policy-makers.  

The study is currently in its inception phase, and further updates and developments will be made regularly available at the AlgoAware website, as well as through social media channels. Please register on the website to receive regular updates and information about opportunities for engagement and collaboration.