EEOC launches initiative to prevent AI from exacerbating civil rights issues

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will comply with civil rights laws with new technologies used in hiring, dismissal, and promotion decisions, even if those who use those technologies do not have a basic understanding of how they work. I want to make sure that.

Artificial intelligence tools are used in the public and private sectors to help employers find potential employees and make hiring and retention decisions. However, these technologies carry inherent risks such as bias automation and organizational systematic issues.

To counter this, the EEOC recently launched a new initiative to catalog these potential harms and educate employers and employees on how to best use these technologies without causing civil rights issues. Did.

“The conclusion here is that, in reality, despite the neutral and objective aura of predictive tools that incorporate artificial intelligence and algorithms, we do not realize that we need to be careful and check it. It can recreate human prejudice, ”EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows said. Organized Genius Machines Event Nextgov When Defense One ..

Burroughs quoted a hiring algorithm that suppressed resumes from female applicants and a job listing tool that couldn’t provide employers with the full range of potential hires.

“We have always played a role in ensuring that screens and devices that may exclude someone are fair in that they do not unduly affect people based on race. Country, age, etc. “she said. “We ensure that the technology-based recruitment tools used in employment decision-making, including those that incorporate artificial intelligence in some way, comply with federal civil rights laws enforced by our institutions. Start a whole new initiative to do. “

According to the EEOC press release, this initiative started with five initial goals. Establish an internal working group to coordinate the work of the institution on the initiative.

Initiate a series of listening sessions with key stakeholders on algorithmic tools and their impact on employment.

Gather information about adoption, design, and impact of recruitment and other employment-related technologies.

Identify promising practices.

We issue technical assistance to provide guidance on the fairness of the algorithm and the use of AI in employment decisions.

First, the program focuses on educating employers about AI tools that they purchase but may not understand.

“A few [AI tools] It’s sold with the promise of removing prejudice when you remove the human component, “Barrows said. “One of the things we really want to help educate people is that it’s not always the case.”The EEOC will create materials to help employers of all skill levels better understand what they are buying and how to audit those tools to identify deep-seated biases.The goal is not to prevent, limit, or roll back the use of AI in recruitment and management decisions, but to ensure that people who use these tools understand what they are buying.“Employers sometimes have far more resumes than they can organize,” Burroughs said. “There is a real need there, and I hope people can benefit from it while protecting their civil rights.”That said, under current law, “employers can’t accept the vendor’s words that they are […]

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