The National Fair Housing Alliance Applauds the White House’s Efforts to Protect Consumers from Harmful Technologies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2022
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Washington, D.C. — The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) applauds the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for its “Blueprint for an Artificial Intelligence Bill of Rights.” The five principles designed to guide government, corporations, academicians, researchers, and other stakeholders on developing fair and responsible technologies will help protect millions of consumers who are often harmed by technologies used across numerous sectors including housing, financial services, education, employment, health, voting, climate, and law enforcement. The accompanying handbook — From Principles to Practice — provides a clear roadmap for incorporating the five principles in the technologies that impact our lives.
“Technology is the new civil rights frontier. We are learning more each day about how existing technologies harm people and communities. This plan will serve as a guide that encourages developers and marketers of AI tools to search for least discriminatory alternative (LDA) solutions in credit scoring, underwriting, pricing, tenant screening, health management, employee screening, and other systems. It will also continue to position the United States as a global leader in advancing policies and techniques for the development of fair, transparent, explainable, responsible AI,” said Lisa Rice, President and CEO of NFHA.
“If broadly implemented, the plan can reverse the underrepresentation of Black, Latino, Asian, Native, and other people of color in housing, economic, health, education, employment, and other data and it can mitigate the ability of algorithmic systems to perpetuate injustices,” said Michael Akinwumi, Chief Tech Equity Officer at NFHA.
Race-based laws and policies, segregation, private prejudices, real estate agent steering, bank redlining, appraisal bias, and restrictive zoning ordinances are among the forces that generated much of the biased data that fuel algorithmic technologies. Everyday consumers are 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 unless there is a clear, aggressive, and comprehensive Bill of Rights that guarantees responsible, accountable, and ethical deployment of data-driven, business-driven, or model-driven automated AI solutions.
Under its Tech Equity Initiative, NFHA works to advance policy, technical, and other solutions to debias existing technologies; 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 and its Office of Science and Technology Policy on implementing the blueprint so that many of its promised benefits become a reality for consumers.
Click below to read what other groups have to say about the AI Bill of Rights.
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.