AI Bill of Rights

The US Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights: Putting enough guardrails in place for AI ethics

Advancing AI Governance. Helping keep AI Accountable.

In October 2022, the US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), published the whitepaper – The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights: Making Automated Systems Work for the American People – along with several related agency actions.
The AI Bill of Rights (AIBoR) is intended to support the development of policies and practices that protect civil rights and promote democratic values in the building, deployment, and governance of automated systems in the age of artificial intelligence.

A. The OSTP process

Led a yearlong process to seek and distill input from people across the country – from impacted communities to industry stakeholders to technology developers to other experts across fields and sectors, as well as policymakers across the Federal government – on the issue of algorithmic and data-driven harms and potential remedies

B. The framework

The AIBoR framework is an answer to the calls for clear federal leadership and guidelines to protect the public – and a response to the urgent threats posed to the American public by unchecked automated systems.
It is a set of five principles and associated practices to help guide the design, use, deployment, and governance of automated systems.
The core protections to which everyone in America should be entitled, include:

  • Safe and Effective Systems: You should be protected from unsafe or ineffective systems
  • Algorithmic Discrimination Protections: You should not face discrimination by algorithms and, systems should be used and designed in an equitable way
  • Data Privacy: You should be protected from abusive data practices via built-in protections, and you should have agency over how data about you is used
  • Notice and Explanation: You should know that an automated system is being used and understand how and why it contributes to outcomes that impact you
  • Alternative Options: You should be able to opt out, where appropriate, and have access to a person who can quickly consider and remedy problems you encounter

C. Key definitions of terms

  • An “automated system” is any system, software, or process that uses computation as a whole or part of a system to determine outcomes, make or aid decisions, inform policy implementation, collect data or observations, or otherwise interact with individuals and/or communities. Automated systems include, but are not limited to, systems derived from machine learning, statistics, or other data processing or artificial intelligence techniques, and exclude passive computing infrastructure.
  • “Algorithmic discrimination” occurs when automated systems contribute to unjustified different treatment or impact disfavouring people based on their race, colour, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, gender identity, intersex status, and sexual orientation), religion, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification protected by law.

D. Unpacking the blueprint

Examples of automated systems for which the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights should be considered include those that have the potential to meaningfully impact:

  1. Civil rights, civil liberties, or privacy, including but not limited to:
  • Speech-related systems
  • Surveillance and criminal justice system algorithms
  • Voting-related systems
  • Systems with a potential privacy impact
  1. Equal opportunities, including but not limited to:
  • Education-related systems
  • Housing-related systems
  • Employment-related systems
  1. Access to critical resources and services, including but not limited to:
  • Health and health insurance technologies
  • Financial system algorithms
  • Systems that impact the safety of communities
  • Systems related to access to benefits or services or assignment of penalties

In announcing the AIBoR, the OSTP has revealed a continued commitment to an AI regulatory approach that is sectorally specific, and tailored to individual sectors such as health, labor, and education.

The release of the blueprint has been met with good support for not moving to regulation in order to allow beneficial innovation and competition in the many uses of AI, to flourish. 

The AIBoR is non-binding and does not constitute US government policy. However, we believe it may prompt agency rulemaking and legislation.

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