The deployment of automated decision-making (ADM) and AI-based systems in Europe has vastly increased over the last two years, affecting the access to rights and services, and thus to opportunities in life, of millions of citizens. And yet, most such systems are being adopted without meaningful democratic debate, and either lack transparency as to their actual goals, workings and efficacy or, when such evidence is available, demonstrably fail to benefit individuals and society in practice.
These are the main results of the 2020 edition of the 'Automating Society' report, an unprecedented research effort to assess how automated processes and decisions are currently impacting all aspects of everyday life, ranging from welfare to health, education, justice and policing, in 16 European countries.
Through the research and investigations of a network of researchers located across the continent, the project has been able to document and illustrate that, in certain cases, ADM systems can actually be a force for good. For example, automation helps assessing the risk of gender violence in Spain, and has reduced medical prescriptions fraud in Portugal by 80% in a single year.