Science, Technology, and Social Media

Federal Agencies Pledge To ‘Vigorously Enforce’ Laws Against Discriminatory AI Technologies In Joint Statement

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan and other federal agency officials jointly pledged to use law enforcement to maintain the U.S.’s commitment to fairness, equality and justice, as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more prevalent.

AI has the potential to pose threats to “civil rights, fair competition, consumer protection, and equal opportunity,” according to a statement from Khan and officials from the Civil Rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The federal officials committed to enforcing laws to ensure technological innovations are impartial in their application.

“There is no AI exemption to the laws on the books, and the FTC will vigorously enforce the law to combat unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition,” Kahn said in a press release.

“The FTC has also warned market participants that it may violate the FTC Act to use automated tools that have 2 discriminatory impacts, to make claims about AI that are not substantiated, or to deploy AI before taking steps to assess and mitigate risks,” according to the joint statement. AI has the potential to “perpetuate unlawful bias, automate unlawful discrimination, and produce other harmful outcomes,” the agency officials said.

In February, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to require federal government agencies to ensure AI promotes racial equity. The order requires the establishment of “Agency Equity Teams” who will verify adherence to the mandate.

“This Executive Order directs the body to facilitate better collection, analysis, and use of demographic data to advance equity, and to regularly report on progress to the White House and the American public,” the statement read.

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra cited a statistical analysis of 2 million mortgage applications that found black families were 80% likelier to be rejected than white families with similar financial and credit backgrounds as an example of AI algorithmic discrimination in his prepared remarks on the joint statement.

“The Interagency Statement we are releasing today seeks to take an important step forward to affirm existing law and rein in unlawful discriminatory practices perpetrated by those who deploy these technologies,” Chopra said.

The DOJ, CFPB, and EEOC did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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