ACROCPoLis: A Descriptive Framework for Making Sense of Fairness

26 Sep 2023

In their paperĀ ACROCPoLis: A Descriptive Framework for Making Sense of Fairness, published on June 12th 2023, Tom Lenaerts and Virginia Dignum, along with other authors, propose a method of how to represent the effects and impact of AI systems on the communities, groups, and individuals.

Fairness is central to the ethical and responsible development and use of AI systems, with a large number of frameworks and formal notions of algorithmic fairness being available. However, many of the fairness solutions proposed revolve around technical considerations and not the needs of and consequences for the most impacted communities. The authors of this paper therefore want to take the focus away from definitions and allow for the inclusion of societal and relational aspects to represent how the effects of AI systems impact and are experienced by individuals and social groups.

In this paper, they do this by means of proposing the ACROCPoLis framework to represent allocation processes with a modeling emphasis on fairness aspects. The framework provides a shared vocabulary in which the factors relevant to fairness assessments for different situations and procedures are made explicit, as well as their interrelationships. This enables the authors to compare analogous situations, to highlight the differences in dissimilar situations, and to capture differing interpretations of the same situation by different stakeholders.