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Cory Booker and Others Introduce Bill That Could Make Tech Companies Check Their AI For Biases

Over the past few years, big tech companies like Facebook and Amazon have come under fire for discriminatory artificial intelligence. Now, U.S. lawmakers are presenting a bill that will make tech companies check their algorithms for biases. Drafted by Sens. Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019 calls for the Federal Trade Commission to require companies collecting and sharing data for the purpose of algorithms to conduct impact assessments on their privacy and AI tools. The law notes that algorithms can contribute to and amplify “unfair, biased, or discriminatory decisions” that impact consumers. For now, the bill is aimed at big tech companies and data brokers. It would only apply to companies who are valued at more than $50 million or who have access to more than 1 million consumers’ data. “Computers are increasingly involved in the most important decisions affecting Americans’ lives — whether or not someone can buy a home, get a job or even go to...

Apr 11, 2019

Facebook’s Ad Targeting Feature Discriminates, Even When Advertisers Don't Want It To

Facebook has had a lengthy list of privacy and advertising scandals within the last year. Recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is charging Facebook for housing discrimination in its ads. HUD alleged that Facebook’s ad platform “discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of dwellings because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin or disability.” Now, a recent report from Cornell University shows that Facebook’s ads can discriminate against groups even when advertisers don’t want them to. “Advertising platforms can play an independent, central role in creating skewed, and potentially discriminatory, outcomes,” the report said. The report found that the lower the daily budget an ad had, the fewer women saw it. The content of an ad can also skew the types and amount of people who see it. Researchers used public voter records in one test, resulting in the post being delivered to specific audiences, even...

Apr 5, 2019