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U.S. Officials Monitor AI in Companies to Prevent Civil Rights Violations

On Tuesday, U.S. officials warned financial firms and others about the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to increase the risk of bias and civil rights violations. They indicated that they are watching marketplaces to prevent such discrimination.

OpenAI and ChatGPT logos
OpenAI and ChatGPT logos

AI in Lending, Employment, and Housing

The increased use of automated systems in sectors such as lending, employment, and housing could worsen discrimination based on race, disabilities, and other factors, according to the heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Justice Department's civil rights unit, Federal Trade Commission, and others.

Growing Scrutiny of AI Tools

The rising popularity of AI tools, like Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT, has led to heightened scrutiny by U.S. and European regulators and calls for new legislation to control the technology.

Ensuring Innovation Adheres to Laws

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan emphasized that "claims of innovation must not be covered for lawbreaking."

Seeking Tech Sector Whistleblowers

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra said the agency is trying to connect with tech sector whistleblowers to identify where new technologies might violate civil rights laws.

Chopra explained that financial firms are legally obligated to explain adverse credit decisions. Companies that must understand the reasons behind their AI's decisions cannot legally use the technology.

Responsibility for AI-Generated Decisions

Highlighting vast amounts of data and correlations to make decisions, Chopra emphasized that companies are responsible for the decisions made using AI.