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    This is an idea for improving transparency and accountability for government decisions that typically happen “behind closed doors”. It is not intended to apply to public votes or other decisions that already happen in full view of the public.

    Instead of people making deals behind closed doors without any accountability, including without the requirement to disclose what deals they made, we need decisions made by algorithms in public. When there’s a resource allocation decision to make, an algorithm should be applied. The algorithm should be public. Anyone should be able to take a map and one or more public datasets with all the information that will be used by the algorithm to allocate resources, apply the algorithm and arrive at the same result.

    Using public algorithms, the government can quickly make decisions that can be confirmed by the public as fair because they are the correct results of the algorithm applied to the available data.

    The focus on debate should then be on the adoption of the algorithm and any proposed changes to it, and how they would affect outcomes in important hypothetical situations or how it would have affected past outcomes differently.

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