Computer Says 'No' - Automation, Algorithms & Artificial Intelligence in Government Decision-Making

Forty years ago, the architects of Australia's administrative review regime contemplated a world in which governmental activity was populated by human policy makers and bureaucrats, not automated decision-making, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Today, bureaucracy is no longer what it once was. Increasingly, administrative decisions that used to be based on human reflection are made automatically. Important decisions about people's lives will be made by algorithms and profiling, and potentially autonomous intelligent artificial agents.

How can public law's mandates of transparency, fairness, and accuracy in government decision-making be guaranteed?

In my presentation today to the University of New South Wales' Public Sector Law & Governance Seminar, I canvassed how more governmental transparency, clear and effective regulation and a widespread awareness of the challenges posed by automation, algorithms and artificial intelligence can help sustain administrative law values. 

Link to PowerPoint slides: Computer Says 'No' - Automation, Algorithms & Artificial Intelligence and Government Decision-Making

The extended written paper accompanying the presentation is available through UNSW CLE or by emailing me at