I just want to be clear that I’m not saying that the details of the algorithms are irrelevant. In a way they can matter very much, and you know, in a certain circumstance, in a certain situated use, it might matter significantly what the algorithm does but we can’t say that a priori. So we need to both open up the algorithms, we need to understand them as much as possible, but we must not be seduced to believe that if we understand them therefore we know what they do.
We can’t govern through knowledge, properly speaking. Even if many algorithms are trade secrets, Lucas and others have reminded us nearly all would not be surveillable by human beings, even if we had access to their source code. We have to begin whatever process from this fundamental lack of knowledge. We need to start from the same epistemological place that many of the producers of algorithms do.