In this piece, Author Kyle Wiggers uses the EU’s steps towards safer AI to showcase how far behind the US is in the process of creating effective regulations of AI. Recently, the European Union has held many discussions about the future of AI regulations, focusing heavily on preventing bias and optimizing security. However, the European Citizens’ Initiative raised concerns about policymakers’ focus on debiasing AI systems. They claim that, while policymakers are not expected to be experts on AI, they are making assertions without understanding the technical side of AI discrimination. Realistically, eliminating bias in AI is not possible in most systems because of unintended biases in their human creators. Instead, they should be focusing on how to mitigate bias through procedural processes.
Further, the ECI recommends that policymakers focus on banning practices that are the most biased. Mass surveillance has proven time and time again to disproportionately harm protected classes because the technology is very likely to have or develop biases. Looking back to Issues 10 and 8, it is clear that surveillance systems have incorrectly identified individuals from marginalized groups, leading to class action lawsuits in the United States.