April 26, 2023
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
U.S. EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows and officials from three other federal agencies jointly pledged today to uphold America’s commitment to the core principles of fairness, equality, and justice as emerging automated systems, including those sometimes marketed as “artificial intelligence” or “AI,” become increasingly common in our daily lives – impacting civil rights, fair competition, consumer protection, and equal opportunity.
EEOC Chair Burrows and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, and Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan released their joint statement, outlining a commitment to enforce their respective laws and regulations to promote responsible innovation in automated systems.
All four agencies have previously expressed concerns about potentially harmful uses of automated systems and resolved to vigorously enforce their collective authorities and to monitor the development and use of automated systems.
“We have come together to make clear that the use of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, must be consistent with federal laws,” said Charlotte A. Burrows, Chair of the EEOC. “America’s workplace civil rights laws reflect our most cherished values of justice, fairness and opportunity, and the EEOC has a solemn responsibility to vigorously enforce them in this new context. We will continue to raise awareness on this topic; to help educate employers, vendors, and workers; and where necessary, to use our enforcement authorities to ensure AI does not become a high-tech pathway to discrimination.”
“Technology marketed as AI has spread to every corner of the economy, and regulators need to stay ahead of its growth to prevent discriminatory outcomes that threaten families’ financial stability,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Today’s joint statement makes it clear that the CFPB will work with its partner enforcement agencies to root out discrimination caused by any tool or system that enables unlawful decision making.”
“As social media platforms, banks, landlords, employers, and other businesses that choose to rely on artificial intelligence, algorithms and other data tools to automate decision-making and to conduct business, we stand ready to hold accountable those entities that fail to address the discriminatory outcomes that too often result,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This is an all hands on deck moment and the Justice Department will continue to work with our government partners to investigate, challenge, and combat discrimination based on automated systems.”
“We already see how AI tools can turbocharge fraud and automate discrimination, and we won’t hesitate to use the full scope of our legal authorities to protect Americans from these threats,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “Technological advances can deliver critical innovation—but claims of innovation must not be cover for lawbreaking. There is no AI exemption to the laws on the books, and the FTC will vigorously enforce the law to combat unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition.”
For information about the EEOC’s AI initiative, please visit: Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Fairness Initiative.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.