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NYC seeks Algorithm Officer to oversee automation

The Algorithms Management and Policy Officer will be supported by a newly created steering committee made up of representatives from city agencies and members of the public.

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed an Executive Order to establish an Algorithms Management and Policy Officer position within the Mayor’s Office of Operations.

 

The officer will lead on algorithm policy and develop guidelines and best practices to assist city agencies in their use of algorithms to make decisions.

 

A key focus of the role will be ensuring algorithms used by the city to deliver services promote equity, fairness and accountability.

 

"With every new technology comes added responsibility."

 

The creation of the position follows new recommendations from the Automated Decision Systems (ADS) Task Force, which was set up in May last year.

 

“Fairness and equity are central to improving the lives of New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With every new technology comes added responsibility, and I look forward to welcoming an Algorithms Management and Policy Officer to my team to ensure the tools we use to make decisions are fair and transparent.”

 

"Necessary step"

 

The appointed person will be supported by a newly created steering committee made up of representatives from city agencies and members of the public.

 

“ADS management and oversight are difficult," said Julia Stoyanovich, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Assistant Professor of Data Science at NYU, and member of the ADS Task Force. "The Mayor’s executive order is a necessary step towards making the recommendations from the ADS Task Force concrete and actionable.

 

"Educating the public on ADS is essential to moving beyond the harmful extremes of techno-optimism and techno-bashing."

 

"I am particularly looking forward to seeing evidence of a strong commitment on the part of the city to a broad education effort. Educating the public on ADS is essential to moving beyond the harmful extremes of techno-optimism and techno-bashing, and into a thoughtful and productive conversation about the role of technology in society.”

 

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