White House Releases AI Bill of Rights

West World Robots rejoice!

The White House published a list of guidelines for the artificial intelligence industry meant to protect users from abuses from algorithms maintained by companies and agencies.

The guidelines, identified as the “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights,” were released by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Tuesday and offer a list of five principles for ensuring users are protected from abuse empowered by the technology as it grows in prominence.

The bill of rights encourages designers to make sure that users are “protected from unsafe or ineffective” automated systems, to prohibit discriminatory use of algorithms, to build protections into products that will prevent “abusive data practices,” to ensure that systems are transparent, and to allow users to “opt-out” in favor of a human alternative when appropriate.

“Technologies will come and go, but foundational liberties, rights, opportunities, and access need to be held open, and it’s the government’s job to help ensure that’s the case,” Alondra Nelson, OSTP deputy director for science and society, told WIRED . “This is the White House saying that workers, students, consumers, communities, everyone in this country should expect and demand better from our technologies.”

The bill is currently opt-in, meaning that companies can ignore the guidelines unless federal agencies and Congress decide to enforce or expand them. Multiple federal agencies have stated that they intend to provide additional guidance on the technology, according to the Washington Post .

This includes the Department of Education issuing recommendations for AI use in schools by 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services releasing a related vision by the end of 2022, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issuing guidelines for the use of algorithms in screening tenants.

The bill’s opt-in nature makes it difficult for the White House to rein in the abuse of AI by Big Tech in the near term. When asked why the blueprint does not mention bans as an option for controlling AI harms, a senior administration official noted that the document’s focus was shielding people from the tech that harms their rights, not prohibiting any specific technology.

The United States is not the only country attempting to curb the misuse of AI. The European Union is considering legislation that would rein in AI.

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