The Biden administration announced on Friday that it wants information on a wide range of biometric systems as part of the first step in creating what it called a "bill of rights" for the age of artificial intelligence.
The call by the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy seeks information "on past deployments, proposals, pilots, or trials, and current use of biometric technologies for the purposes of identity verification, identification of individuals, and inference of attributes including individual mental and emotional states."
That's a huge potential range of technologies, applications and fallout, with the administration's formal notice citing the use of facial recognition in accessing housing, schools and work, as well as "keystroke analysis for detection of medical conditions and cognition or mood." It also asked how harms might arise from technologies working less accurately for some demographic groups, and about concerns over profiling and loss of privacy.
In a follow-up opinion article in Wired, the leaders of the office, Eric Lander and Alondra Nelson, cited even more concerns, from discriminatory arrests and mortgage approval to tools that make hiring decisions and digital assistants that might have trouble with certain accents.
In turn, Lander and Nelson said that, in order to "guard against the powerful technologies we have created," rights might include the ability "to know when and how AI is influencing a decision that affects your civil rights and civil liberties" as well as freedoms from inaccurate or biased AI — many of which would likely have to be put in place by federal, state or local law.