Black box, black box in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?

Some technologies do not make transparency easy, but perhaps this is the least complex part of the problem. More often, a Black Box is the engineering artefact of an intellectual property. Isn’t the Coca-Cola formula one of the most popular Black Boxes in history? However, moving to a future where reputation, reliability, privacy, credit risk and employability (just to name a few) will depend on what algorithms say, Black Boxes represent the dark side of the force. And since avoiding Black Boxes isn’t always feasible, we must at least be aware of their side effects and commit to reduce them. In a word, we need responsibility, which is the foundation of sustainability and value. We will also need new tools to help us: one example is a new “sociological” approach aimed at studying Black Boxes in the same way we studied the most mysterious behavioural agent in the world: our brain.

“Huston, we have a problem!” …yes, but Huston is still us, so what do we do?

If tomorrow our safety and well-being will depend on some Black Boxes, we may also not accept the irresponsible and socially unsustainable ones.

Digital Platforms @ Beretta | PhD student in Statistics & Data Science @ AEM, UNIBS | Engineer | Only personal opinions here | Code is Law (cit.)