The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled a set of far-reaching goals aimed at averting the harm caused by the rise of AI systems, including guidelines for protecting people’s personal data and limiting surveillance.
Notably, The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights does not set out specific enforcement actions. Instead, officials said it is intended as a White House call to action for the US government to safeguard civil and digital rights in an AI-fueled world.
The White House said the white paper represents a significant advance in the administration’s plan to hold technology companies accountable. The administration also highlighted various federal agencies’ commitments to weighing new rules and studying the specific impacts of AI technologies.
The document has been released after a year-long consultation with over two dozen different departments. It also incorporates feedback from civil society groups, technologists, industry researchers, and tech companies, including Palantir and Microsoft.
It mentions five core principles that the administration says should be built into AI systems to mitigate the impacts of algorithmic bias, give users control over their data, and ensure that automated systems are used safely and transparently.
The resulting non-binding principles cite news reports, academic research, and agency studies documenting real-world harm from AI-powered tools. This includes facial recognition tools that contributed to unjust arrests and an automated system that discriminated against loan applicants who attended a historically black university or college.
The white paper mentioned that parents and social workers could benefit from knowing whether child welfare agencies were using algorithms to make a decision on when families should be investigated for maltreatment.