Incident 250: Dutch City Court Defended Home Value Generated by Black-Box Algorithm

Description: A home value generated by a black-box algorithm was reportedly defended by the Castricum court, which was criticized by a legal specialist for setting a dangerous precedent for accepting black-box algorithms as long as their results appear reasonable.


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Alleged: Castricum municipality developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed unnamed property owner.

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Khoa Lam

Incident Reports

Dutch city uses algorithm to assess home value, but has no idea how it works · 2020

In a seemingly routine case at the Amsterdam court of appeal, a judge ruled that it was acceptable for a municipality to use a black-box algorithm, as long as the results were unsurprising.

In 2016, the municipality of Castricum, a seaside …


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.