OSTP Announces Public Events in November to Engage the American Public in National Policymaking about AI and Equity

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced today that it will launch a series of listening sessions and events next week to engage the American public in the process of developing a Bill of Rights for an Automated Society.

OSTP Director Eric Lander and Deputy Director for Science and Society Alondra Nelson recently announced that OSTP is engaging a wide array of stakeholders — in industry, academia, government, civil society, and the general public — in a national endeavor to make sure new and emerging data-driven technologies abide by the enduring values of American democracy.

There are already several ways for the public to join this mission and share their perspectives:

  • Responses may be submitted to a request for information (RFI) on current or planned uses of AI-enabled biometric technologies in the private and public sectors until January 15, 2022.
  • Members of the public can email OSTP with their comments about the use of artificial intelligence and other data-driven technologies in their lives.

Today, OSTP announced two new ways for the American people to join this effort:

  • Two public listening sessions on AI-enabled biometric technologies; and,
  • Six public events that will bring together stakeholders to discuss the risks and benefits artificial intelligence holds for democratic participation.

Listening Sessions on Public and Private Sector Uses of AI-Enabled Biometrics

On November 18 and November 29, there will be two public listening sessions, both virtual, on Public and Private Sector Uses of AI-Enabled Biometric Technologies. The purpose of these listening sessions is to understand the past, current, or anticipated uses of biometric technologies; where and how these technologies are being used; who is using them; what current principles, practices, or policies govern their use; and who are, or may be, impacted by their use or regulation. Details for how to join are below:

Biometric Technologies: Listening Session One
When: Thursday, November 18, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)
Where: Virtual; register here

Biometric Technologies: Listening Session Two
When: Monday, November 29, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: Virtual; register here

Public Events on the Bill of Rights for an Automated Society

OSTP is co-hosting six public events to promote public education and engagement on areas where data-driven technologies intersect with the lives of Americans. These events will bring together a variety of practitioners, advocates, and Federal government officials to offer insights and analysis on the risks, harms, benefits, and policy opportunities of AI and other automated technologies. The events offer the public an opportunity to interact with various stakeholders and identify concerns, opportunities, and suggestions to OSTP:

Consumer Rights and Protections: This event will explore the opportunities and challenges for individual consumers and communities in the context of a growing ecosystem of AI-enabled consumer products, advanced platforms and services, “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, and smart city products and services. Panelists will discuss whether the conveniences, enhanced connections, and efficiencies made available through these products and services are benefiting consumers and communities, the trade-offs for consumers and governments, and the effectiveness of existing regulatory and legal protections.
Co-hosts: OSTP and The German Marshall Fund of the United States
When: Monday, November 15, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET
Where: Watch the full event here.

The Criminal Justice System: This event will explore current and emergent uses of technology in the criminal justice system and consider how they advance or undermine public safety, justice, and democratic values. Panelists will discuss the role of technological innovation or technology regulation in ongoing debates regarding the criminal justice system and society, notions of public and community safety, and meaningful redress of harm.
Co-hosts: OSTP and the Electronic Privacy Information Center
When: Tuesday, November 16, 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. ET
Where: Watch the full event here.

Equal Opportunities and Civil Justice: This event will explore current and emerging uses of technology that impact equity of opportunity in employment, education, housing, and financial well-being. Panelists will also discuss the state of reforms and interventions that can shift technology innovation toward more equitable outcomes, and technical mechanisms for ensuring that AI use does not erode civil rights and liberties.
Co-hosts: OSTP and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
When: Wednesday, November 17, 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. ET
Where: Watch the full event here.

Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values: This event will examine challenges and opportunities in the design of technology that can help support a democratic vision for AI. It will include discussion of the technical aspects of designing non-discriminatory technology, explainable AI, human-computer interaction with an emphasis on community participation, and privacy-aware design.
Co-hosts: OSTP and Mozilla Foundation
When: Thursday, November 18, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET
Where: Watch the full event here.

Social Welfare and Development: This event will explore current and emerging uses of technology to implement or improve social welfare systems, social development programs, and other systems that can impact life chances. Panelists will explore whether new technologies are aiding or harming vulnerable individuals and communities, and the role of legal or technological interventions in ensuring access to and the benefits of entitlements and democratic participation.
Co-hosts: OSTP and New America
When: Thursday, November 18, 2:00 p.m. – 3:15p.m. ET
Where: Watch the full event here.

The Healthcare System: This event will explore current and emerging uses of technology in the healthcare system and consumer products related to health. Panelists will discuss the impact of new technologies on health disparities; healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes; and areas ripe for research and policymaking. The event will conclude with summary remarks about technology, equity, and rights.
Co-hosts: OSTP and the Center for American Progress
When: Tuesday, November 23, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET
Where: Watch the full event here.

All of the virtual listening sessions and events are free and open to the public and accessibility services will be provided.

If you would like to provide input into the OSTP Bill of Rights for an Automated Society policy process, email us at AI-equity@ostp.eop.gov.

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