From Explanation to Recommendation: Ethical Standards for Algorithmic Recourse

Proceedings of the 2022 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society (AIES’22) (forthcoming)
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People are increasingly subject to algorithmic decisions, and it is generally agreed that end-users should be provided an explanation or rationale for these decisions. There are different purposes that explanations can have, such as increasing user trust in the system or allowing users to contest the decision. One specific purpose that is gaining more traction is algorithmic recourse. We first pro- pose that recourse should be viewed as a recommendation problem, not an explanation problem. Then, we argue that the capability approach provides plausible and fruitful ethical standards for re- course. We illustrate by considering the case of diversity constraints on algorithmic recourse. Finally, we discuss the significance and implications of adopting the capability approach for algorithmic recourse research.

Author Profiles

Emily Sullivan
Utrecht University
Philippe Verreault-Julien
Eindhoven University of Technology


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