Biden admin pushes AI initiative for federal agencies

The plan from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy primarily address discrimination, privacy, and safety issues.

Updated: October 4, 2022 - 8:38pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Links

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced its "Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights" to direct federal agencies' use of the technology.

The plan from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy primarily address discrimination, privacy, and safety issues, according to the Washington Times. Among those initiatives, the blueprint highlighted an effort by the Transportation Security Administration to implement a "gender-neutral" system for body-scanners at airport checkpoints.

"Body scanners, used by TSA at airport checkpoints, require the operator to select a 'male' or 'female' scanning setting based on the passenger’s sex, but the setting is chosen based on the operator’s perception of the passenger’s gender identity," the publication read, per the Times. "These scanners are more likely to flag transgender travelers as requiring extra screening done by a person. Transgender travelers have described degrading experiences associated with these extra screenings."

Other federal agencies, including the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, have begun to use AI technology as well. DOE Secretary Miguel Cardona announced that his department would release its own guidance for schools in the coming year, according to the Times.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, meanwhile, announced plans to produce a report on equity in the health care sector using AI systems.

"We know that for the most part the folks who are left out of the health care system are low-income and people of color, and so if you use data that you have an abundance of, you probably are leaving out the most key elements and targeting everyone," he said. "At HHS, we’re doing work right now on equity essentially by design and we’re doing an analysis of what AI systems are out there and what they really mean to us."