New bill would require federal agencies to have civil rights offices that examine and report on bias and discrimination risks of algorithmic systems.
WASHINGTON– Today, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Peter Welch (D-VT), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Ben Luján (D-NM), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) unveiled a bill aimed at promoting fairness and accountability in algorithmic systems while safeguarding civil rights in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). The Eliminating Bias in Algorithmic Systems (BIAS) Act 0f 2023 is an important first step in addressing the challenges of AI bias and discrimination.
Under the provisions of the Eliminating BIAS Act, all agencies using, funding, or regulating algorithmic systems will be required to establish offices of civil rights staffed by experts and technologists to help reduce discrimination from algorithmic systems. Agencies will also submit biennial reports to Congress on AI bias and discrimination within their scope. This reporting mechanism will enable Congress to proactively address civil rights violations stemming from algorithmic systems and develop best practices.
“Algorithmic systems profoundly influence opportunities and outcomes throughout society. Black people and other communities of color disproportionately suffer negative impacts of unjust and opaque AI systems. The Eliminating BIAS Act is an important step towards fostering transparency, oversight, and justice for emerging technologies,” said David Brody, managing attorney of the Digital Justice Initiative at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “By requiring each agency to report on harms from algorithmic systems, this bill would incentivize agencies to identify, prevent, and mitigate threats to civil rights from AI.”
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law commends the leadership of Senators Markey, Booker, Merkley, Welch, Warren, Luján, and Wyden in championing this vital legislation.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.