The white paper When Computers Decide: European Recommendations on Machine-Learned Automated Decision Making presents the views of the ACM Europe Policy Committee (EUACM) and Informatics Europe (IE) on the challenges posed by the increasing presence of Machine Learning and Automated Decision Making (ADM) systems in almost every aspect of modern human life.

The white paper makes 10 recommendations to policy leaders:

  1. Establish means, measures and standards to assure that ADM systems are fair.
  2. Ensure that ethics remain at the forefront of, and integral to, ADM development and deployment.
  3. Promote value-sensitive ADM design.
  4. Define clear legal responsibilities for ADM’s use and impacts.
  5. Ensure that the economic consequences of ADM adoption are fully considered.
  6. Mandate that all privacy and data acquisition practices of ADM deployers be clearly disclosed to all users of such systems.
  7. Increase public funding for non-commercial ADM-related research significantly.
  8. Foster ADM-related technical education at the university level.
  9. Complement technical education with comparable social education.
  10. Expand the public’s awareness and understanding of ADM and its impacts.


The topics raised in the white paper were the focus of a panel discussion of leading computer scientists and European Commission leaders in Brussels on 15 March. The panelists were:

  • Jim Larus (Moderator), Professor and Dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
  • Oliver Grau, Associate Director of Operations, Intel Visual Computing Institute, Germany
  • Chris Hankin, Co-Director of the Institute for Security Science and Technology and Professor of Computing Science at Imperial College London
  • Johannes Klumpers, Head of the Scientific Advisory Mechanism, EU Commission DG Research and Innovation
  • Lucilla Sioli, Director of Digital Industry, EU Commission DG CONNECT