But looking at the code behind an algorithm doesn't necessarily tell you how it works, and certainly doesn't give the average person too much insight into the business structure and processes that go into creating it.
“It's a lot like trying to understand ancient animals with a lot of genetic material,” said Jonathan Gray, a senior lecturer in critical infrastructure studies at King's College London. “It doesn't tell us anything, but it would be an extension to say we know how they live.”
There is no algorithm that controls Twitter. “Some of them will determine what they see in their timeline in terms of trends, or content, or suggested follow-up,” said Katherine Flick, a researcher in computing and social responsibility at the University of de Montfort in Leicester. The algorithms that people will initially be interested in are controlling what content is published in users' timelines, but without training data it wouldn't be very effective either.
Jennifer Kobe, a postdoctoral research associate, said: “Most of the time when people talk about algorithmic accountability these days, we recognize that algorithms are not what we want them to be – what we really want is information about how they were created,” said Jennifer Kobe Cambridge. At university. This is largely due to concerns about AI algorithms perpetuating human biases in the data used for their training. Who develops the algorithm and what data they use can make a significant difference in the results they scatter.
For Cobbe, the risk outweighs the potential benefits. Computer code does not give us any insight into how algorithms were trained or tested, what topics or considerations went into them, or what kind of things were prioritized in the process.
While open sourcing's algorithm may not make a significant difference to Twitter's transparency, then — and it may introduce some significant security risks.
Companies often publish their data protection impact assessments, which are tested and tested to highlight vulnerabilities and flaws. When they are discovered, they are fixed, but the data is often corrected to prevent security risks. With open source sourcing Twitter's algorithm, the entire code base of the website will be accessible to all, allowing potentially bad actors to breach the software and find vulnerabilities for exploitation.
“I don't believe for a moment that Elon Musk sees open source sourcing on all of Twitter's infrastructure and security aspects,” said Irke Boeten, a professor of cybersecurity at De Montfort University in Leicester.
Open-sourcing Twitter's algorithms can create another problem: it can help bad actors get better at gaming systems, which could lead to another goal, “beating all spam bots”, even harder.
“This is not necessarily because individuals will be able to understand the intricacies of how algorithm code works; but they will be able to understand broadly how Twitter recommends posts to users in the timeline,” Boyten said. While Twitter users aren't exactly in the dark about how the platform works now, Open Sourcing's algorithms could provide new ammunition for bad actors, he said.
There are other, more worrying unintended consequences. One of the main concerns is the inevitable hassle that people will face when trying to parse the algorithm, unprofessionally. This could lead to more toxic and fruitless debates.
“I'm worried it'll turn into a hill where it's really a mule,” Flick said. “There's a lot of hype about the mysterious algorithm, but in reality it's probably the social consequences of the bad behavior that is reflected in the weight of those people's tweets.”
Open source sourcing algorithms will not solve the problem of bias, and taking steps to address the biases raised will undoubtedly be seen through the lens of technology, rather than technology সময়ে at a time when we are already heavily politicized.
For example, a recent paper, led by Twitter researchers, highlighting how algorithms promote right-wing content more easily than left-wing content has already become a power rod for arguments. “It's going to be a mess,” Flick said.