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If an algorithm makes some decision -- say, assigning more police to a particular neighborhood -- it should also generate results that explain how it made that choice. (Photo: Getty)

(Bloomberg View) — The data scientists writing the algorithms that drive giants like Alphabet Inc. (Google) and Facebook Inc. are today’s technology wizards, and companies and governments increasingly use their creations — often in secret and with little oversight — to do everything from hiring and firing employees to identifying likely suspects for police monitoring.

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