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Consumer Reports applauds White House’s AI Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C – Consumer Reports applauds the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for releasing their comprehensive Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights. The report provides guidance on the use of artificial intelligence systems and technology in the private and public sectors to protect the American public from potential harms such as AI bias. 

The White House blueprint builds on advocacy from CR and other civil society groups regarding the use and deployment of algorithmic systems. CR has advocated for robust testing standards which include independent evaluation prior to deployment, as well as providing consumers with more choice and transparency about when an algorithmic system is used to evaluate them. 

Nandita Sampath, a policy analyst focused on algorithmic accountability and bias at Consumer Reports said, “The AI Bill of Rights is a critical first step in addressing the potential harms of AI. American consumers need protections from these complex systems that are used to evaluate them without their knowledge and without a meaningful explanation as to why they arrived at certain decisions. Consumers deserve to know why an automated decision system denies them an opportunity, particularly in sensitive cases. We hope to see more federal and state agencies implementing these recommendations and also ask Congress to codify these recommendations into law.” 

Automated decision systems can be used to make choices about consumers in a variety of situations from tenant screening to employment decisions to healthcare. In some cases, AI companies use data that may or may not be relevant to the final outcome (such as using a job candidate’s facial expression during a video interview to evaluate their ability to do a particular job). 

CR recently commended The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation creating a shared research infrastructure that would provide AI researchers with access to high-quality data and additional resources.