These days, it is algorithms that decide whether we are creditworthy or entitled to social welfare – or which partner is the right one for us. They are taking momentous decisions about our lives without our knowledge. They are said to be more efficient than us, eliminating human error with their cold logic. If we look behind the intimidating façade of artificial intelligence, we find a rather disturbing picture. We meet people whose lives have been turned upside down by algorithms. Like Marie, who was drawn into anorexia as a result of YouTube algorithms. Or Macarena, who had to go into hiding for years because an algorithm deemed her out of danger while her abusive husband remained at large. Or Derya, who was made homeless with her children because an algorithm branded her a fraud. Momentous artificial decisions whose errors, on close inspection, do not stem from the algorithms themselves but rather from the developers and their clients.
Who is responsible if AI turns out to be a curse rather than a blessing? And what needs to be done for the promise of AI to be kept? The promise of a better world for us all.