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“Transparency in Computational Processes” (10/20/17)

January 24, 2018

Katie Creel

Abstract​: Scientists depend on complex computational systems that are often ineliminably opaque, to the detriment of our ability to give scientific explanations and detect artifacts.  Some philosophers have suggested treating opaque systems instrumentally, but the computer scientists developing new strategies for increasing transparency are right not to find this satisfying.  Instead, I propose an analysis of transparency as having three forms: transparency of the algorithm, the way that algorithm is written in code, and the way that code is run on particular hardware and data. This allows us to target the kind of transparency most useful for a given task.

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