Self-determination

New Zealand Commissioner: companies should explain automated decisions

New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner John Edwards wants payment services companies to explain decisions made by their AI systems. In the country these kinds of services can decline persons from using it within seconds without telling them why.

Several services in New Zealand allow customers to pay a purchase off over a few weeks without interest. For this, customers need to pass the payment services companies’ algorithm test based on personal details they enter.

The artificial intelligence then decides whether it is likely or not that the customer will pay back the money on time. At the moment, these companies tell customers they can’t provide details as to why they are turned down.

According to Edwards expecting customers to understand all of the terms and conditions from these companies is an “irresponsible approach” to new technology, several media in New Zealand report.

“There may be a need to have an obligation on companies to explain how an artificial intelligence-made decision was made. We don’t really have anything like that at the moment,” Edwards said.