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  • Marc P. Hauer (TU Kaiserslautern)

Accountability is a frequently used term in standardisation and legislation, though, it is usually not thoroughly defined while there are many possible definitions 1.

Recent scientific work revolving around AI usually refers to the accountability explanations provided by Maranke Wieringa, who maps the definition provided by Bovens specifically to the field of AI 2. Bovens’ definition says accountability is “a relationship between an actor and a forum, in which the actor has an obligation to explain and to justify his or her conduct, the forum can pose questions and pass judgement, and the actor may face consequences” 3.

According to Hauer et al., disclosed information (transparency) and granted accesses (examinability) can enable the forum to control whether, e.g., the aimed and claimed properties of the system are actually implemented and whether the system is used as described 4.

Last update: 2022.09.04, v0.1

  1. Severin Kacianka, Kristian Beckers, Florian Kelbert, and Prachi Kumari. How accountability is implemented and understood in research tools - A systematic mapping study. In Michael Felderer, Daniel Méndez Fernández, Burak Turhan, Marcos Kalinowski, Federica Sarro, and Dietmar Winkler, editors, Product-Focused Software Process Improvement - 18th International Conference, PROFES 2017, Innsbruck, Austria, November 29 - December 1, 2017, Proceedings, volume 10611 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 199–218. Springer, 2017. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-69926-4_15

  2. Maranke Wieringa. What to account for when accounting for algorithms: a systematic literature review on algorithmic accountability. In Proceedings of the 2020 conference on fairness, accountability, and transparency, 1–18. January 2020. 

  3. Mark Bovens. Analysing and assessing accountability: a conceptual framework 1. European law journal, 13(4):447–468, 2007. 

  4. M. P. Hauer, T. D. Krafft, and K. Zweig. Overview of transparency and examinability mechanisms to achieve accountability of ai systems. Submission is currently processed., 2022.