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Consumer Reports supports California AI bias bill if amended

Consumer Reports and a coalition of privacy, labor, equity, economic justice, and civil rights groups submitted a joint letter, supporting California’s A.B. 2930 if the bill is amended. 


A.B. 2930 would create new requirements for companies that develop and use artificial intelligence (AI) technology in high-stakes decisions about consumers and workers. 


California has the opportunity to lead the nation by placing common-sense guardrails on the development and use of AI and automated decision-making tools. CR and other groups intend to work with the bill’s author to ensure A.B. 2930 provides needed protections for the people of California. 


In its current form, however, consumer and worker advocates are concerned that A.B. 2930 would not provide necessary transparency measures; that some of the definitions would allow companies to side-step the critical accountability mechanisms the bill creates; and that consumers and job candidates would not receive sufficient notice or explanation of consequential decisions made with the help of automated decision tools, among other concerns. 


The most important changes include:

  • Revising the bill’s definitions to prevent deployers from avoiding compliance with the bill simply by having a human rubber stamp algorithmic recommendations;
  • Strengthening the notice and explanation provisions so that consumers and workers have a meaningful understanding of how and why they are assessed by AI systems;
  • Strengthening the impact assessment provisions by requiring the use of unbiased, independent auditors and by requiring that all forms discrimination must be assessed and mitigated;
  • Ensuring the bill has adequate enforcement remedies and does not undermine existing laws.


For more, please see the full letter in the attached PDF.