Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is everywhere. Thanks to a lack of red tape, it’s transforming our homes, economies and cultures – from ChatGPT and virtual DJs, to facial recognition and predictive policing tools.
However, the rise of AI has also come at a significant cost. As we’ve discussed in recent weeks, AI often undermines our privacy, entrenches societal biases, and creates opaque systems that lack accountability.
By Samuel Woodhams | Digital rights researcher and journalist
Algorithms to determine welfare payments and detect fraud are becoming standard practice around the world. From Manchester to Melbourne, peoples’ lives are being shaped by secretive tools that determine who is eligible for what, and how much debt is owed.
Although the technology has been around for some time, the outbreak of COVID-19 renewed enthusiasm for the digital welfare state and, for thousands of cash-strapped public bodies, the promise of increased efficiency and lower costs has proven irresistible.