Automated Decision Making

Definition & Meaning:

Automated decision making refers to the process where computer algorithms make decisions without human input.

This technology is used in various applications, from credit scoring and loan approvals to job applicant screening and personalized marketing.

When you apply for a loan online, for instance, an automated system might assess your application based on predetermined criteria and decide whether you qualify for the loan.

This process can significantly speed up decision-making and ensure consistency by removing the potential for human bias.

However, it also raises concerns about transparency and fairness, as individuals might not understand how decisions about them are made.

For example, if an automated system decides you’re not eligible for a loan, you may wish to know on what basis that decision was made.

Regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union provide certain rights related to automated decision-making.

Under GDPR, individuals have the right to obtain human intervention, express their point of view, and contest the decision made by automated means. This aims to balance the efficiency of automated decision-making with the need for fairness and accountability.

In the context of websites and online services, automated decision-making might be used to personalize the content, advertisements, and offers you see based on your browsing behavior and preferences.