A newly released Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center study on algorithms and the future hinges on the question, "Will the net overall effect of algorithms be positive for individuals and society or negative for individuals and society?" Pew Research Center reports that of 1,302 respondents, 38 percent answered algorithms would positively impact society, 37 percent answered they would have a negative impact, and 25 percent felt that their consequences could be evenly split. Among the potential pitfalls identified in the study is the way algorithms can create hyper-specific profiles of internet users, without those users having an ability to see how they were identified or targeted. "'Algorithmic transparency’ should be established as a fundamental requirement for all AI-based decision-making," said the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Marc Rotenberg. "There is a larger problem with the increase of algorithm-based outcomes beyond the risk of error or discrimination — the increasing opacity of decision-making and the growing lack of human accountability.”
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