(Washington, D.C.) — The Biden administration must prioritize the protection of civil rights and civil liberties in government policies on artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure technological progress promotes equity, states a letter and three memos sent Tuesday to the White House and several federal agencies.
The memos highlight how discrimination from AI in housing, employment, and financial services can be reduced. Some of the recommendations include requiring more transparency in the data and AI models that are used, and allowing civil rights organizations, labor and workers’ rights organizations, and impacted communities to continuously give feedback and input on these issues. Federal agencies need to act to address the discrimination that exists in AI models and create robust review processes to block future harms.
“Technology should never be a barrier to accessing economic opportunities or securing fair housing, but because of discriminatory bias in AI models, it is for far too many Black Americans and other people of color,” said David Brody, who leads the Digital Justice Initiative at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “The federal government has a responsibility to address this issue. We hope they will bring key stakeholders to the table, prioritize AI fairness, and make certain future generations do not experience the same mistreatment.
The letter and memos were signed by more than 20 civil rights, civil liberties, human rights, technology policy, and research organizations. They were sent to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, and several other federal agencies.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.