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An FDA for algorithms

Reference Type: 

Journal Article

Tutt, Andrew. 2016. “An FDA for algorithms.” SSRN Electronic Journal 69.

The rise of increasingly complex algorithms calls for critical thought about how best to
prevent, deter, and compensate for the harms that they cause. This Article argues that the
criminal law and tort regulatoy systems will prove no match for the difficult regulatogy
puzzles algorithms pose. Algorithmic regulation will require federal uniformity, expert
judgment, political independence, and pre-market review to prevent-without stifling
innovation-the introduction of unacceptably dangerous algorithms into the market. This
Article proposes that certain classes of new algorithms should not be permitted to be
distributed or sold without approval from a government agency designed along the lines of
the FDA. This "FDA for Algorithms" would approve certain complex and dangerous
algorithms when it could be shown that they would be safe and effective for their intended
use and that satisfactoy measures would be taken to prevent their harmful misuse.
Lastly, this Article proposes that the agency should serve as a centralized expert regulator
that develops guidance, standards, and expertise in partnership with industy to strike a
balance between innovation and safety.

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