Artificial Intelligence: US Federal Trade Commission warns publishers

What's New in Publishing 30 Apr 2021 07:13

In a blog post last week, the US Federal Trade Commission singled out ‘media companies’ as one of the sectors where biases in artificial intelligence (AI) technology could be to the detriment of wider society.

Ominously, the Commission reminded media companies of their obligation to hold themselves accountable – otherwise ‘be ready for the FTC to do it for you’. The FTC also added it has ‘decades of experience enforcing three laws important to developers and users of AI’.

The FTC is particularly concerned that biases in well-intentioned algorithms could result in discriminatory outcomes that ‘perpetuate racial inequity’. The Commission reminded companies that it was essential to test AI algorithms on an ongoing basis to make sure they didn’t ‘discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or other protected class’.

The FTC held up, by way of example, its PrivacyCon 2020 showcase where researchers presented work showing that algorithms developed for benign purposes like advertising actually resulted in racial bias.

As your company launches into the new world of artificial intelligence, keep your practices grounded in established FTC consumer protection principles.

Federal Trade Commission blog post

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