The Right to Explanation
In the EU, the new GDPR effective 2018 has impacts on machine learning applications and strengthens the position of affected EU citizens.
In the paper “European Union regulations on algorithmic decision-making and a “right to explanation” written by Bryce Goodman and Seth Flaxman analyze the potential impact that the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation will have on the routine use of machine learning algorithms. Slated to take effect as law across the EU in 2018, it will restrict automated individual decision-making (that is, algorithms that make decisions based on userlevel predictors) which “significantly affect” users. The law will also effectively create a “right to explanation”, whereby a user can ask for an explanation of an algorithmic decision that was made about them. They argue that while this law will pose large challenges for industry, it highlights opportunities for computer scientists to take the lead in designing algorithms and evaluation frameworks which avoid discrimination and enable explanation.