US congressmen have renewed efforts to hold technology companies accountable for bias in algorithms. They submitted an updated version of the bill requiring the audit of AI systems in areas such as finance, healthcare, housing and education.
Proud to be introducing this much-needed legislation with @senbooker and @RepYvetteClarke to hold companies accountable for reliance on flawed systems that discriminate against Americans based on age, gender, and race. https://t.co/GKJt5FpMPI
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 3, 2022
According to Senator Ron Wyden, one of the authors of the document, the bill should lift the curtain on the secret algorithms that decide whether Americans can see a doctor, rent a house or go to school.
“If someone does not rent you a house because of the color of their skin, this is absolute illegal discrimination. Using an erroneous algorithm or software that results in discrimination and bias is also bad,” the press release says.
The bill would require companies to audit AI systems and report the results to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This includes any enterprise solutions, including:
- cost, conditions and accessibility of education;
- basic utilities;
- family planning;
- legal services;
- any other services, programs or opportunities that affect the life of the consumer.
According to the document, the FTC undertakes to disclose high-profile cases related to algorithmic bias. The commission should also create a public database where consumers can view what decisions are made by automated systems in a particular company.
The bill was supported by a number of human rights groups. Arisha Hatch, Vice President of Color Of Change, expressed her hope that Congress will adopt the document in the near future.
For the first time, Widen’s Algorithmic Responsibility Bill introduced in 2019, however, it did not go to committee hearings in either the House or the Senate.
Recall that in April 2021, Wyden proposed to legally ban facial recognition systems like Clearview AI.
In November, congressmen presented rules for regulating recommender algorithms.
In January 2022, the United States proposed legislation to ban digital ad targeting on platforms like Facebook and Google.
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