7. Fairness and Non Discrimination

Agencies should consider in a transparent manner the impacts that AI applications may have on discrimination. AI applications have the potential of reducing present day discrimination caused by human subjectivity. At the same time, applications can, in some instances, introduce real world bias that produces discriminatory outcomes or decisions that undermine public trust and confidence in AI. When considering regulations or non regulatory approaches related to AI applications, agencies should consider, in accordance with law, issues of fairness and non discrimination with respect to outcomes and decisions produced by the AI application at issue, as well as whether the AI application at issue may reduce levels of unlawful, unfair, or otherwise unintended discrimination as compared to existing processes.
Principle: Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Jan 13, 2020

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States

Related Principles

V. Diversity, non discrimination and fairness

Data sets used by AI systems (both for training and operation) may suffer from the inclusion of inadvertent historic bias, incompleteness and bad governance models. The continuation of such biases could lead to (in)direct discrimination. Harm can also result from the intentional exploitation of (consumer) biases or by engaging in unfair competition. Moreover, the way in which AI systems are developed (e.g. the way in which the programming code of an algorithm is written) may also suffer from bias. Such concerns should be tackled from the beginning of the system’ development. Establishing diverse design teams and setting up mechanisms ensuring participation, in particular of citizens, in AI development can also help to address these concerns. It is advisable to consult stakeholders who may directly or indirectly be affected by the system throughout its life cycle. AI systems should consider the whole range of human abilities, skills and requirements, and ensure accessibility through a universal design approach to strive to achieve equal access for persons with disabilities.

Published by European Commission in Key requirements for trustworthy AI, Apr 8, 2019

· 4. Governance of AI Autonomy (Human oversight)

The correct approach to assuring properties such as safety, accuracy, adaptability, privacy, explicability, compliance with the rule of law and ethical conformity heavily depends on specific details of the AI system, its area of application, its level of impact on individuals, communities or society and its level of autonomy. The level of autonomy results from the use case and the degree of sophistication needed for a task. All other things being equal, the greater degree of autonomy that is given to an AI system, the more extensive testing and stricter governance is required. It must be ensured that AI systems continue to behave as intended when feedback signals become sparser. Depending on the area of application and or the level of impact on individuals, communities or society of the AI system, different levels or instances of governance (incl. human oversight) will be necessary. This is relevant for a large number of AI applications, and more particularly for the use of AI to suggest or take decisions concerning individuals or communities (algorithmic decision support). Good governance of AI autonomy in this respect includes for instance more or earlier human intervention depending on the level of societal impact of the AI system. This also includes the predicament that a user of an AI system, particularly in a work or decision making environment, is allowed to deviate from a path or decision chosen or recommended by the AI system.

Published by The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, Dec 18, 2018

· 5. Non Discrimination

Discrimination concerns the variability of AI results between individuals or groups of people based on the exploitation of differences in their characteristics that can be considered either intentionally or unintentionally (such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or age), which may negatively impact such individuals or groups. Direct or indirect discrimination through the use of AI can serve to exploit prejudice and marginalise certain groups. Those in control of algorithms may intentionally try to achieve unfair, discriminatory, or biased outcomes in order to exclude certain groups of persons. Intentional harm can, for instance, be achieved by explicit manipulation of the data to exclude certain groups. Harm may also result from exploitation of consumer biases or unfair competition, such as homogenisation of prices by means of collusion or non transparent market. Discrimination in an AI context can occur unintentionally due to, for example, problems with data such as bias, incompleteness and bad governance models. Machine learning algorithms identify patterns or regularities in data, and will therefore also follow the patterns resulting from biased and or incomplete data sets. An incomplete data set may not reflect the target group it is intended to represent. While it might be possible to remove clearly identifiable and unwanted bias when collecting data, data always carries some kind of bias. Therefore, the upstream identification of possible bias, which later can be rectified, is important to build in to the development of AI. Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that AI technology can be employed to identify this inherent bias, and hence to support awareness training on our own inherent bias. Accordingly, it can also assist us in making less biased decisions.

Published by The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, Dec 18, 2018

5. Benefits and Costs

When developing regulatory and non regulatory approaches, agencies will often consider the application and deployment of AI into already regulated industries. Presumably, such significant investments would not occur unless they offered significant economic potential. As in all technological transitions of this nature, the introduction of AI may also create unique challenges. For example, while the broader legal environment already applies to AI applications, the application of existing law to questions of responsibility and liability for decisions made by AI could be unclear in some instances, leading to the need for agencies, consistent with their authorities, to evaluate the benefits, costs, and distributional effects associated with any identified or expected method for accountability. Executive Order 12866 calls on agencies to “select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity).” Agencies should, when consistent with law, carefully consider the full societal costs, benefits, and distributional effects before considering regulations related to the development and deployment of AI applications. Such consideration will include the potential benefits and costs of employing AI, when compared to the systems AI has been designed to complement or replace, whether implementing AI will change the type of errors created by the system, as well as comparison to the degree of risk tolerated in other existing ones. Agencies should also consider critical dependencies when evaluating AI costs and benefits, as technological factors (such as data quality) and changes in human processes associated with AI implementation may alter the nature and magnitude of the risks and benefits. In cases where a comparison to a current system or process is not available, evaluation of risks and costs of not implementing the system should be evaluated as well.

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States in Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Jan 13, 2020

8. Disclosure and Transparency

In addition to improving the rulemaking process, transparency and disclosure can increase public trust and confidence in AI applications. At times, such disclosures may include identifying when AI is in use, for instance, if appropriate for addressing questions about how the application impacts human end users. Agencies should be aware that some applications of AI could increase human autonomy. Agencies should carefully consider the sufficiency of existing or evolving legal, policy, and regulatory environments before contemplating additional measures for disclosure and transparency. What constitutes appropriate disclosure and transparency is context specific, depending on assessments of potential harms, the magnitude of those harms, the technical state of the art, and the potential benefits of the AI application.

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States in Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Jan 13, 2020