Who approves algivists? Depending on the impact of algivists on the daily life
of people, we may need regulations concerning their use, similar to regulations
concerning autonomous cars. In analogy with medicine, we may need to think
about formal approval procedures, as a kind of "FDA approval for algivists"
(Tutt, 2017) where algivists first need to be tested in laboratories before they
can work in archives.
In this essay I have done several things. First, I have described a plausible, yet still
fictive, future of algivists as algorithmic archivists. Second, I have given the reader an
extensive view on the new field of ethics of algorithms which is concerned with the
societal impact of intelligent algorithms. Third, I have introduced how ethical
thinking has been formalized in archival practices using codes of ethics. Fourth, and
most importantly, I have sketched how human codes of ethics could be employed to
build algorithmic algivists that will obey our human ethical values, thereby moving
from the intended archivist to the intentional algivist. Future research on AI, ethics
and archives will bring us the advances algivists promise, but hopefully also gives us
tools to maintain high moral standards when incorporating these agents into our
lives. At least two sets of questions remain for archivists to answer and for others to
study. The first is how the new role of trainer or coach will have an impact on the
profession. Instead of appraising documents, they will now "appraise" the behavior
of the algivist. How many trainers are needed at some point? How will they become a
certified trainer? And will algivists stay a separate profession, or will they merge with
other information service machines? The second set of questions is about the long
time future. When archival practices will be changed drastically with the
introduction of algivists, ethical codes may need to be updated to reflect new social
norms between humans and machines. Who decides when that time comes, and
who decides what is to be changed? Maybe employing algivists also requires us to
rethink ethical concepts over time (see Steinert, 2014 about meta-ethics). Time will
archives in liquid times
ICA-DL (2011). Universal Declaration on Archives. Retrieved from http://www.ica.org/en/
SAA (1955). Society of American Archivists Code of Ethics (1948-1965). Retrieved from
SAA (1992). Society of American Archivists Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://ethics.iit.edu/
SAA (2012). Society of American Archivists Code of Ethics. Retrieved from
Anderson, C. (2008). The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method
Obsolete. Wired Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2008/06/pb-theory/
Anderson, M., Anderson, S.L. (2007). Machine Ethics: Creating an Ethical Intelligent Agent.
AI Magazine, 28, 15-26.
Anderson, R. (2011). Collections 2021: The future of the library collection is not a collection.
Serials, 24(3), 211-215.
martijn van otterlo from intended archivists to intentional algivists.
ethical codes for humans and machines in the archives
Anthes, G. (2016). Search Engine Agendas. Communications of the ACM, 59(4), 19-21.
Baase, S. (2013). A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology
(4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Birkbak, A., Carlsen, H.B. (2016). The public and its algorithms: comparing and
experimenting with calculated publics. In Amoore, L. and Piotukh, V. (eds.), Algorithmic life
(pp. 21-34). London: Routledge.
Borner, K. (2010). Atlas of Science: Visualizing what we know. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Bostrom, N., Yudkowsky, E. (2011). The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence: In William Ramsey,
Keith Frankish (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge (UK):
Cambridge University Press.
Bozdag, E. (2013). Bias in Algorithmic Filtering and Personalization. Ethics of Information
Technology, 15, 209.
Brunton, F., Nissenbaum, H. (2013). Political and Ethical Perspectives on Data
Obfuscation. In Hildebrandt, de Vries (eds.), Privacy, due process and the computational turn.
Chin J., Wong G. (2016). China's New Tool for Social Control: A Credit Rating for
Everything. Wall Street Journal, Nov. 28, 2016.
Clement, T., Hagenmaier, W., Knies, J.L. (2013). Toward a Notion of the Archive of the
Future: Impressions of Practice by Librarians, Archivists, and Digital Humanities Scholars.
The Library Quarterly, 83(2), 112-130.
Cox, R.J (2007). Machines in the archives: Technology, and the coming transformation of
archival reference. First Monday, 12, 11.
Crawford, A. (2015). The Meaning of the Library: A Cultural History. Princeton (UK): Princeton
de Hert, P., Lammerant, H. (2016). Predictive Profiling and its Legal Limits: Effectiveness
Gone Forever? In Bart van der Sloot; Dennis Broeders; Erik Schrijvers (eds.), Exploring the
Boundaries of Big Data (WRR-verkenning, Vol. 32) (pp. 145-173). Den Haag: WRR.
Dennett, D.C. (2013). Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. New York: W. W. Norton
Diakopoulos, N. (2016). Accountability in Algorithmic Decision Making. Communications of
the ACM, 59(2), 56-62.
Danielson, E.S. (1989). The ethics of access. American Archivist. 52, 52-62.
Domingos, P. (2015). The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine
Will Remake Our World. Ingram Publisher Services US.
Eco, U. (1980). The Name of the Rose. London: Vintage, Random House Publishing.
Etzioni, A., Etzioni, O. (2016). Designing AI Systems that Obey Our Laws and Values.
Communications of the ACM, 59(9), 29-31.
Ferguson, S., Thornley, C., Gibb, F. (2016). Beyond codes of ethics: How library and
information professionals navigate ethical dilemmas in a complex and dynamic information
environment. International Journal of Information Management, 36(4), 543-556.
Fernandez, P. (2016). Through the looking glass: envisioning new library technologies. Library
Hi Tech News, 3, 20-23.
Ferrara, E., Varol, O., Davis, C., Menczer, F., Flammini, A. (2016). The Rise of Social Bots.
Communications of the ACM, 59(7), 96-104.
Floridi, L. (2014). The 4th revolution: How the infosphere is reshaping human reality (paperback
version). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ford, M. (2013). Could Artificial Intelligence Create an Unemployment Crisis?
Communications of the ACM, 56(7), 37-39.
Garoogian, R. (1991). Librarian/patron confidentiality: an ethical challenge. Library Trends