Press Release

White House announces an ‘AI Bill of Rights’

On Tuesday the White House released the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, one year after the Office of Science and Technology Policy announced the initiative and following extensive consultation with public stakeholders. 

The blueprint is a white paper and does not constitute US government policy, but hopes to provide an important roadmap for the United States’ engagement with AI-powered technologies. 

The document identifies five guiding principles for “the design, use, and deployment of automated systems to protect the American public in the age of artificial intelligence”, namely safe and effective systems, algorithmic discrimination protections, data privacy, notice and explanation, and human alternatives, consideration and fallback. 

The primary focus of the Bill is to envision potential future harms from a fledgling technology, but also makes some highly current statements regarding data collection, stating that ‘unchecked social media data collection has been used to threaten people’s opportunities’ and ‘undermined their privacy’. Importantly, the blueprint states that ‘surveillance technologies’, defined as products or services ‘lawfully’ used to collect, retain and transmit ‘identifying information, or communications concerning individuals or groups’, should be subject to ‘heightened oversight’, including at least ‘pre-deployment assessment of their potential harms and scope limits to protect privacy and civil liberties’. Therefore, despite the prospective motivation of the AI Bill of Rights, the announcement could anticipate a sharp shift in the existing regulatory strictures imposed on Adtech companies in the US.

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