New York creates task force on bias in algorithms

New York City has passed a bill to study biases in the algorithms used by the metropole. Though seen as a major step forward the bill unfortunately does not force city agencies which base decisions on artificial intelligence to make those algorithms publicly available.

The bill however does call for a task force to study the possibility of bias in algorithms, be it discrimination based on “age, race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, caregiver status, sexual orientation, alienage or citizenship status.”

The bill follows a report by ProPublica that algorithms used across the United States to predict future criminal offences are biased against black people. The task force under the bill is to provide “recommendations on how information on agency automated decision systems may be shared with the public and how agencies may address instances where people are harmed by agency automated decision systems.”