Artificial Intelligence Black Box New Focus of Interest
President Donald Trump’s administration is also taking notice and has made the development of “safe and trustworthy” algorithms a major objective of the White House’s new AI initiative . But it would do so mostly by strengthening an existing industry-driven process of creating technological standards.
“There’s a need for greater transparency and data comparability,” and for detecting and reducing bias in these systems, said Commerce Undersecretary Walter Copan, who directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology. “Consumers are essentially flying blind.”
Dozens of facial recognition developers, including brand-name companies like Microsoft, last year submitted their proprietary algorithms to Copan’s agency so that they could be evaluated and compared against each other. The results showed significant gains in accuracy over previous years.
But Wyden said the voluntary standards are not enough.
“Self-regulation clearly has failed here,” he said.
In a bolder move from the Trump administration, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has charged Facebook with allowing landlords and real estate brokers to systematically exclude groups such as non-Christians, immigrants and minorities from seeing ads for houses and apartments.
Booker, in a statement about his bill, said that while HUD’s Facebook action is an important step, it’s necessary to dig deeper to address the “pernicious ways” discrimination operates on tech platforms, sometimes unintentionally.
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