Algorithmic Government

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From the Wikipedia:

"Government by algorithm (also known as algorithmic regulation, regulation by algorithms, algorithmic governance, algocratic governance, algorithmic legal order or algocracy) is an alternative form of government or social ordering where the usage of computer algorithms, especially of artificial intelligence and blockchain, is applied to regulations, law enforcement, and generally any aspect of everyday life such as transportation or land registration. The term "government by algorithm" appeared in academic literature as an alternative for "algorithmic governance" in 2013.[10] A related term, algorithmic regulation, is defined as setting the standard, monitoring and modifying behaviour by means of computational algorithms – automation of judiciary is in its scope. In the context of blockchain, it is also known as blockchain governance.

Government by algorithm raises new challenges that are not captured in the e-government literature and the practice of public administration.[13] Some sources equate cyberocracy, which is a hypothetical form of government that rules by the effective use of information, with algorithmic governance, although algorithms are not the only means of processing information. Nello Cristianini and Teresa Scantamburlo argued that the combination of a human society and certain regulation algorithms (such as reputation-based scoring) forms a social machine."



From the Wikipedia:

"In 1962, the director of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow (later Kharkevich Institute),[20] Alexander Kharkevich, published an article in the journal "Communist" about a computer network for processing information and control of the economy. In fact, he proposed to make a network like the modern Internet for the needs of algorithmic governance. This created a serious concern among CIA analysts.[23] In particular, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. warned that "by 1970 the USSR may have a radically new production technology, involving total enterprises or complexes of industries, managed by closed-loop, feedback control employing self-teaching computers".

Between 1971 and 1973, the Chilean government carried out Project Cybersyn during the presidency of Salvador Allende. This project was aimed at constructing a distributed decision support system to improve the management of the national economy. Elements of the project were used in 1972 to successfully overcome the traffic collapse caused by a CIA-sponsored strike of forty thousand truck drivers.

Also in the 1960s and 1970s, Herbert A. Simon championed expert systems as tools for rationalization and evaluation of administrative behavior. The automation of rule-based processes was an ambition of tax agencies over many decades resulting in varying success. Early work from this period includes Thorne McCarty's influential TAXMAN project in the US and Ronald Stamper's LEGOL project in the UK. In 1993, the computer scientist Paul Cockshott from the University of Glasgow and the economist Allin Cottrell from the Wake Forest University published the book Towards a New Socialism, where they claim to demonstrate the possibility of a democratically planned economy built on modern computer technology. The Honourable Justice Michael Kirby published a paper in 1998, where he expressed optimism that the then-available computer technologies such as legal expert system could evolve to computer systems, which will strongly affect the practice of courts. In 2006, attorney Lawrence Lessig, known for the slogan "Code is law", wrote:

"[T]he invisible hand of cyberspace is building an architecture that is quite the opposite of its architecture at its birth. This invisible hand, pushed by government and by commerce, is constructing an architecture that will perfect control and make highly efficient regulation possible"

Since the 2000s, algorithms have been designed and used to automatically analyze surveillance videos.

In his 2006's book Virtual Migration, A. Aneesh developed the concept of algocracy — information technologies constrain human participation in public decision making. Aneesh differentiated algocratic systems from bureaucratic systems (legal-rational regulation) as well as market-based systems (price-based regulation).

In 2013, algorithmic regulation was coined by Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media Inc.:

Sometimes the "rules" aren't really even rules. Gordon Bruce, the former CIO of the city of Honolulu, explained to me that when he entered government from the private sector and tried to make changes, he was told, "That's against the law." His reply was "OK. Show me the law." "Well, it isn't really a law. It's a regulation." "OK. Show me the regulation." "Well, it isn't really a regulation. It's a policy that was put in place by Mr. Somebody twenty years ago." "Great. We can change that!""

[...] Laws should specify goals, rights, outcomes, authorities, and limits. If specified broadly, those laws can stand the test of time. Regulations, which specify how to execute those laws in much more detail, should be regarded in much the same way that programmers regard their code and algorithms, that is, as a constantly updated toolset to achieve the outcomes specified in the laws. [...] It's time for government to enter the age of big data. Algorithmic regulation is an idea whose time has come.

In 2017, Ukraine's Ministry of Justice ran experimental government auctions using blockchain technology to ensure transparency and hinder corruption in governmental transactions. "Government by Algorithm?" was the central theme introduced at Data for Policy 2017 conference held on 6–7 September 2017 in London, UK."