New York Just Set a ‘Dangerous Precedent’ on Algorithms, Experts Warn
New York City announced a task force to develop a policy on algorithm technologies two years ago, but it has since been bogged down in a bureaucratic mess, failing to gain access to basic information about automated systems already in use. Last week, a shadow report was published in response to the initiative, claiming that it highlights the limitations of bureaucratic procedures to tackle important decisions. Cities used automated technologies to determine essential factors of life, such as where children attend school and whether someone should be released on bail before trial.
The shadow report claims that there have been very few protections that ensure these technologies are unbiased and making fair decisions after reports emerged earlier this year proving AI systems can be categorically unfair. Studies have also shown that algorithms used by law enforcement have been found to produce results that negatively affect African Americans, learning from existing biases in humans and the data they were trained with. The report pushes New York City to enact laws that set a fixed policy around the implementation of algorithmic tools.