Legislation introduced last week would require companies to assess the impact of AI and automated systems they use to make decisions affecting people’s employment, finances, housing and more.
The Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022, sponsored by Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, would give the FTC more tech staff to oversee enforcement and let the agency publish information about the algorithmic tech that companies use. In fact, it follows an approach to AI accountability and transparency already promoted by key advisers inside the FTC.
Algorithms used by social media companies are often the ones in the regulatory spotlight. However, all sorts of businesses — from home loan providers and banks to job recruitment services — use algorithmic systems to make automated decisions. In an effort to enable more oversight and control of technologies that make discriminatory decisions or create safety risks or other harms, the bill would require companies deploying automated systems to assess them, mitigate negative impacts and submit annual reports about those assessments to the FTC.