WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation that would ensure American consumers are not being unfairly discriminated against by black box algorithms. As companies are increasingly using complex algorithms to make decisions about opportunities for education, employment, housing, health care, and more, the Algorithmic Fairness Act would direct the Federal Trade Commission to prevent companies from acting on algorithmic eligibility determinations that are deemed unfair because they are biased or use incorrect data.
“Artificial intelligence brings real benefits to society and opens exciting possibilities. However, it also comes with risks,” said Senator Coons. “Companies are increasingly using algorithms to make decisions about who gets a job or a promotion, who gets into a certain school, or who gets a loan. If these decisions are being made by artificial intelligence that is using unfair, biased, or incorrect data, it has an outsized impact on people’s lives. Existing civil rights laws may not be capturing these harms, and it is critical that Congress establish a framework to ensure that the United States’ transition into the digital economy is rooted in ethics and our values. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and other stakeholders going forward to tackle this complex and pressing problem.”
The Algorithmic Fairness Act would:
Bill text is available here.