Incident 546: Algorithm to Distribute Social Welfare Reported for Oversimplifying Economic Vulnerability

Description: Takaful cash transfer program's algorithm which ranks families by their economic vulnerability level to determine financial assistance reportedly oversimplified people's economic situation, fueling social tension and perceptions of unfairness.


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Alleged: The World Bank , UNICEF and World Food Programme developed an AI system deployed by National Aid Fund, which harmed Jordanians in poverty.

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Khoa Lam

Incident Reports

An algorithm intended to reduce poverty might disqualify people in need · 2023

An algorithm funded by the World Bank to determine which families should get financial assistance in Jordan likely excludes people who should qualify, according to an investigation published this morning by Human Rights Watch. 

The algorith…

Automated Neglect · 2023


Governments worldwide are turning to automation to help them deliver essential public services, such as food, housing, and cash assistance. But some forms of automation are excluding people from services and singling them out for in…

An Algorithm Aimed To Help Jordan's Poor. It Excluded Some In Need, Report Finds · 2023

The World Bank is increasingly incentivizing countries to develop technologies that can find and rank people in poverty so they can be provided with cash transfer and social assistance programs, according to a report by the Human Rights Wat…


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.

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