U.S. Agencies Assert Authority to Address Discrimination Risks Posed by Artificial Intelligence

  • The CFPB, the FTC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice released a joint statement asserting their respective enforcement authorities over civil rights, non-discrimination, fair competition, and consumer protection apply to automated systems including artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The statement expresses the agencies’ concern that automated systems can result in unlawful discrimination, as many systems rely on data to find patterns or correlations and then make recommendations and predictions. The agencies explain that automated systems could lead to discrimination because of datasets that are unrepresentative or incorporate historical bias, or because automated systems can correlate data with protected classes.
  • The agencies pledge to monitor the development and use of automated systems, and to promote responsible innovation, in part by ensuring that developers and users of new technologies understand the potential for discriminatory outcomes. They also vow to use their enforcement authorities to protect individuals’ rights if use of AI does result in discrimination.
  • This federal attention follows warnings from State AGs on similar risks posed by AI and algorithmic decision-making, which we previously reported.