Chapter 8: The effect of algorithmic tools on public value considerations in participatory processes: the case of regulations.gov
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In the chapter, we outline value considerations when using algorithmic tools in the context of public participation processes. More specifically, we ask how algorithmic tools that engage with public input affect public values in decision-making processes. To answer this question, we use regulations.gov as a case, which is a public participation platform for regulatory decision-making. Regulations.gov enables public access to US rulemaking procedures and allows for participation in the process. Through the lens of ‘public value consumption’, we find that each process - the participatory one and the use of algorithmic tools - brings its own set of uncertainties and values and that there need to be evolving strategies for making value trade-offs at the organisational and at the individual level. These strategies are needed to deal with competing values and avoid too many salient values leading to paralysis in public institutions.

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