AI’s Challenge to Democracy – The Tyranny of Algorithms


They live with us, even if we don’t see them. They influence us the most. In recent years, the economy of algorithms has permeated a business culture that seeks to monitor Internet users’ steps continually—subjected under an iron fist in the form of complicated mathematical sequences and operations. Algorithms are behind the digital services that we consult daily, and they are increasingly being extended to all businesses.

Some algorithms can predict the weather, traffic jams, and even love. Furthermore, some produce music and paint pictures as if it were Van Gogh. On the other hand, others are behind creating false news and can predict who will win an election. As citizens cede power to machines, they are more concerned about what is beyond their control. Are algorithms useful? Should they be auditable? In reality, they are still instructions that help the machines their power of decision. They feed on data given by users, adapting, and personalizing user experiences. Yes, they have plenty of potential for decision making. An entrepreneur of the future will have (if he does not already have it) a machine at his disposal that will suggest optimal results when faced with a problem.

We need to audit algorithms

In recent years, civil rights movements and regulatory bodies have urged a more determined look at algorithms’ influence in society. In fact, the proliferation of digital communication services has trapped users in a labyrinth with no way out. Borja Adsuara, a member of the OdiseIA observatory, defends that the platforms are neutral. They should not go into verifying the contents. Depending on what they recommend, the power they have is enormous when trying to change your opinion and behavior. They are modifying the opinion of their users based on their psychological profile. 

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