10/30/2023 in News & Media, Press Releases, Responsible AI/Tech Equity

NFHA Applauds Biden-Harris Administration Action on Artificial Intelligence

Date: October 30, 2023
Contact: Janelle Brevard, jbrevard@nationalfairhousing.org

Washington, D.C. – The National Fair Housing Alliance® (NFHA™) on Monday hailed the Biden-Harris Administration’s new Executive Order containing sweeping measures to advance safe, secure, and trustworthy artificial intelligence as “a bold step towards protecting individuals from bias perpetuated by automated systems.” NFHA President and CEO Lisa Rice released the following statement immediately after joining the President and Vice President at the White House for the announcement. She is joined by NFHA’s Chief Responsible AI Officer, Dr. Michael Akinwumi.

“We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for taking this bold step towards promoting beneficial technologies while protecting people from discrimination and other harms that can be caused by AI. We all want a society where technological innovations can help us overcome illness, improve our children’s educational outcomes, access quality credit and housing opportunities, mitigate climate and disaster risks, and make our lives better. But without proper protocols, guardrails, and investments, we run the risk of unleashing untested and harmful innovations into our society that can hurt millions of people. There is no doubt that technology, including AI and automated systems, is the new civil and human rights frontier. Thousands of race-based laws and policies, segregation, private prejudices, real estate agent steering, bank, insurance, and digital redlining, appraisal bias, and restrictive zoning ordinances are among the forces that generated much of the biased data that fuel today’s automated technologies. Everyday consumers are unfairly denied housing, voting, employment, healthcare, and educational opportunities; overcharged for critical needs like food, loans, and apartments; evicted from their homes; and experience other harms because of biased algorithms. These systems can be dangerous and constitute complex structural barriers that systemically disenfranchise consumers of color.

By calling on federal agencies to mitigate the risks of Artificial Intelligence, the Biden-Harris Administration has put in place important safeguards for a bright future that includes innovations in technology that improve all our lives.

NFHA recognized the potential of automated systems to harm communities early in its tenure and has cultivated an entire team of engineers, data scientists, and policy experts devoted to Responsible AI and Tech Equity led by noted data scientist, Dr. Michael Akinwumi. NFHA’s team is working to advance policy, technological, and other solutions to debias existing automated systems; increase transparency and explainability for AI tools; outline ethical standards for responsible technologies; develop effective regulation; and increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the tech field. NFHA looks forward to continued collaboration with the White House to address these issues.”

The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.