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US senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that will allow the Federal Trade Commission to inspect if corporations are using algorithms that are biased, discriminatory, and insecure.
The bill, known as the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019, was backed by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY).
Algorithmic - Accountability - Act - Decision - Systems
The Algorithmic Accountability Act is focused on regulating “automated decision systems”. Congress has considers these systems as more of a “computational process,” used to help companies make decisions that directly impact consumers. The systems are built on techniques in machine learning, statistics or AI.
Tackling bias and discrimination is a hot subject in AI. Researchers have already shown that commercial facial recognition systems struggle more when trying to identify women and people of color. Experts in the AI community have urged the government to take a stronger approach to regulating tech companies, and it looks like the US government is slowly starting to take notice.
Wyden - Systems - Impact - People - Lives
Wyden explained that these systems could potentially have a great impact on people’s lives if they were involved in determining things like loans, jobs, or recidivism.
“Computers are increasingly involved in the most important decisions affecting Americans’ lives –whether or not someone can buy a home, get a job or even go to jail," he said. "But instead of eliminating bias, too often these algorithms depend on biased assumptions or data that can actually reinforce discrimination against women and people of color.”
Act - Corporations - Assessments - FTC - Officials
Under the act, corporations will have to submit impact assessments to FTC officials....
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