White House Creates a ‘Blueprint’ of AI Rights for Consumers

The White House has issued a “blueprint” for consumer protections with regard to artificial intelligence. Aimed at guiding federal agencies while setting the bar for future legislation, the voluntary directive offers five areas of focus — safety, algorithmic discrimination protection, data privacy, notice, human alternatives — and a section on applying the rules. “Among the great challenges posed to democracy today is the use of technology, data, and automated systems in ways that threaten the rights of the American public,” begins the bill, which says such tools are “too often used” to limit opportunities and prevent access to critical resources or services.

The “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights” contains a two-part test specifying “what systems are in scope.” The framework “applies to (1) automated systems that (2) have the potential to meaningfully impact the American public’s rights, opportunities, or access to critical resources or services.”

Some suggest the government is not getting there quickly enough. “The White House is late to the party,” proclaims TechCrunch, noting that “a growing number of bodies have already weighed in on the subject of AI regulation, including the EU and even the Vatican.”

“Now can we get some laws, please?,” quips Vox, calling the AI Bill “mostly a tool to educate America.” Because it’s created by the advisory body, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, as it stands, the AI rights blueprint lacks teeth, prompting Vox to opine that “the enforcement of laws — whether they’re new laws or laws that are already on the books — is what we really need to make AI safe and fair.”

However, author Cathy O’Neil (“Weapons of Math Destruction”) told Vox “this list of principles, if followed, is a good start.”

The five areas of focus are:

  • Safe and Effective Systems — Pre-deployment testing, risk identification and mitigation, and ongoing monitoring should be required to ensure safety and effectiveness, based on intended use.
  • Algorithmic Discrimination Protections — Designers, developers and deployers of automated systems should design equitable systems, taking  proactive and continuous measures to protect individuals and communities from algorithmic discrimination.
  • Data Privacy — Protections should be included by default, with data collection conforming to “reasonable expectations,” with consent extending to “only data strictly necessary for the specific context,” with “brief” explanations “in plain language.”
  • Notice and Explanation — The public should be told when an automated system is being used, with a straightforward explanation as to “how and why it contributes to outcomes.”
  • Human Alternatives, Consideration, and Fallback — Consumers should be able to opt out, where appropriate, with access provided “to a person who can quickly consider and remedy problems.”

The White House said the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services will publish further guidance in the coming months.

White House Unveils Its ‘Blueprint’ for an AI Bill of Rights, Engadget, 10/4/22
The White House Released an ‘AI Bill of Rights’, CNN, 10/5/22
Biden’s AI Bill of Rights Is Toothless Against Big Tech, Wired, 10/4/22
Don’t Assume China’s AI Regulations Are Just a Power Play, Lawfare, 10/3/22

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