On March 8, 2023, CDT CEO Alexandra Reeve Givens is testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs (of the 118th Congress), to discuss the growing risks and opportunities associated with use of artificial intelligence.
More information on the hearing, as well as the livestream / recording of the event.
While artificial intelligence has the potential to generate new insights and make processes more efficient, it also poses risks of being unreliable, biased, and hard to explain or hold accountable. My testimony focuses on these risks in several areas that directly impact consumers: (i) when AI or automated systems are used in decisions impacting people’s access to economic opportunities, such as in employment, housing, and lending; and (ii) in the administration of government services, such as when AI or automated systems are used to detect fraud or determine eligibility for public benefits programs.
When AI systems are deployed in these high-risk settings without responsible design and accountability measures, it can devastate people’s lives. A person may be unfairly rejected from a job, be denied or unable to find housing, or be wrongly accused of fraud and stripped of the benefits they need to support their family. When this happens, the harm is felt not just by the people whose lives are upended by the decision, but also by the businesses or government programs that rely on those systems to work. Those businesses are now bought into a system that is unfit for purpose, and may face legal, financial, and reputational consequences. This is why it benefits everyone to have upfront, realistic conversations about the potential risks in certain AI uses – and why we need a cross-society effort to improve the responsible design, deployment, use and governance of AI.