The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is an exercise in envisioning a future where the American public is protected from the potential harms, and can fully enjoy the benefits, of automated systems. It describes principles that can help ensure these protections. Some of these protections are already required by the U.S. Constitution or implemented under existing U.S. laws. For example, government surveillance, and data search and seizure are subject to legal requirements and judicial oversight. There are Constitutional requirements for human review of criminal investigative matters and statutory requirements for judicial review. Civil rights laws protect the American people against discrimination. There are regulatory safety requirements for medical devices, as well as sector-, population-, or technology-specific privacy and security protections. Ensuring some of the additional protections proposed in this framework would require new laws to be enacted or new policies and practices to be adopted. In some cases, exceptions to the principles described in the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights may be necessary to comply with existing law, conform to the practicalities of a specific use case, or balance competing public interests. In particular, law enforcement, and other regulatory contexts may require government actors to protect civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy in a manner consistent with, but using alternate mechanisms to, the specific principles discussed in this framework. The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is meant to assist governments and the private sector in moving principles into practice.

The expectations given in the Technical Companion are meant to serve as a blueprint for the development of additional technical standards and practices that should be tailored for particular sectors and contexts. While existing laws informed the development of the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, this framework does not detail those laws beyond providing them as examples, where appropriate, of existing protective measures.  This framework instead shares a broad, forward-leaning vision of recommended principles for automated system development and use to inform private and public involvement with these systems where they have the potential to meaningfully impact rights, opportunities, or access. Additionally, this framework does not analyze or take a position on legislative and regulatory proposals in municipal, state, and federal government, or those in other countries.

We have seen modest progress in recent years, with some state and local governments responding to these problems with legislation, and some courts extending longstanding statutory protections to new and emerging technologies. There are companies working to incorporate additional protections in their design and use of automated systems, and researchers developing innovative guardrails. Advocates, researchers, and government organizations have proposed principles for the ethical use of AI and other automated systems. These include the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) 2019 Recommendation on Artificial Intelligence, which includes principles for responsible stewardship of trustworthy AI and which the United States adopted, and Executive Order 13960 on Promoting the Use of Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence in the Federal Government, which sets out principles that govern the federal government’s use of AI. The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is fully consistent with these principles and with the direction in Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. These principles find kinship in the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs), derived from the 1973 report of an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Records, Computers, and the Rights of Citizens.[i] While there is no single, universal articulation of the FIPPs, these core principles for managing information about individuals have been incorporated into data privacy laws and policies across the globe.[ii] The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights embraces elements of the FIPPs that are particularly relevant to automated systems, without articulating a specific set of FIPPs or scoping applicability or the interests served to a single particular domain, like privacy, civil rights and civil liberties, ethics, or risk management.  The Technical Companion builds on this prior work to provide practical next steps to move these principles into practice and promote common approaches that allow technological innovation to flourish while protecting people from harm.

[i] U.S. Dept. of Health, Educ. & Welfare, Report of the Sec’y’s Advisory Comm. on Automated Pers. Data Sys., Records, Computers, and the Rights of Citizens (July 1973).

[ii] See, e.g., Office of Mgmt. & Budget, Exec. Office of the President, Circular A-130, Managing Information as a Strategic Resource,app. II § 3 (July 28, 2016); Org. of Econ. Co-Operation & Dev., Revision of the Recommendation of the Council Concerning Guidelines Governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data, Annex Part Two (June 20, 2013).

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