Speed Reads

Digital Civil Liberties

White House releases AI Bill of Rights to hold tech companies accountable

The White House on Tuesday issued a "Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights," a roadmap to holding technology companies accountable for internal biases that might threaten the civil rights of citizens in an increasingly digital world, The Associated Press reports. The framework is meant to align AI technology with "the values of democracy and equity," AP writes.

The blueprint does not detail specific enforcement methods against companies that fail to follow its guidelines; instead, it's focused on five ways to ensure AI programs are being developed with built-in protections for users' civil liberties.

In addressing the blueprint, White House officials reiterated Biden's commitment to holding technology developers accountable for the potential impact their programs can have on people in real life. 

"These technologies are causing real harms in the lives of Americans," said a senior administration official, per Axios. "Harms that run counter to our core democratic values, including the fundamental right to privacy, freedom from discrimination, and our basic dignity."

The document was the culmination of a year-long study carried out by over two dozen government departments, and features feedback from civil society groups and various industry researchers, AP writes. The report also includes real-life examples of AI technology causing harm due to apparent internal biases. Such examples include an AI system that discriminated against student loan seekers who attended a Historically Black College or University, and an algorithm that overwhelmingly suggested the families of Black children be investigated by child welfare agencies.