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Anne Meuwese on use of AI by public authorities

New technological applications which the government wants to use need to be thoroughly examined to prevent them causing problems for citizens. Currently, things often go wrong – the childcare benefit affair being an extreme example – says Anne Meuwese, Professor of Public Law and Governance of AI, in regional newspaper the Leidsch Dagblad.

Artificial intelligence can unintentionally discriminate against citizens. However, if it is properly programmed the same technology can actually recognise and prevent discrimination.

Anne Meuwese started work at Leiden University on 1 November 2020. She connects administrative law, her field of study, to future developments in artificial intelligence. Since 2010 Meuwese (previously Professor Constitutional and Administrative Law at Tilburg University) has been studying how to prevent citizens from becoming caught up in the wheels of government authorities.

She sees that this often occurs in the case of public authorities. Sometimes it is almost impossible for citizens to gain access to check whether they have been treated correctly when decisions are taken or objections are dealt with. Public servants and politicians make estimates of the impact of their decisions and do not always act correctly. In the case of the childcare benefit affair, the Tax Authorities wanted to tackle fraud, but the policy was too strict and ultimately led to thousands of parents being adversely affected.

Read the full article (in Dutch) here in the Leidsch Dagblad.

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