Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Fabian, for your advocacy, and for fighting to make sure that our technologies always protect our rights and reflect our values.

We’re here today because artificial intelligence and other automated systems are shaping almost every part of our lives: the way we work; the way we learn; how we access healthcare; and how we find a good job.

Data-driven tools do tremendous good — they can empower us and help solve our greatest challenges.

But too often, the use of these technologies results in just the opposite — deepening of inequality and undermining of our rights.

Too often, poorly designed algorithms are being used and abused to track our communities and to limit access to fundamental opportunities.

President Biden has been clear:

We must act now — to confront these challenges: to safeguard the rights of the American public; to protect the mental health of children; to end online hate and harassment; and to ensure technology is working for everyone.

That’s why one year ago this week, we set out to establish a set of protections.

The goal was a roadmap to a society where innovation happens without predation, where protections are baked in from the start.

Where marginalized communities are included in the initial development and design, and not just an afterthought following deployment.

And designers and policymakers work hard to ensure the benefits of tech reach all people.

I am grateful to the public servants across the Biden-Harris Administration who have helped translate principles into practices.

More than 30 agencies, departments, and components across the Federal government worked together to address these crucial issues.

I am also grateful to the many, many people across the country and the world who helped inform our work.

In our year of discussions and engagement, we heard from hundreds of people representing the diversity of day-to-day experiences in the United States.

We heard about the ways artificial intelligence and automated systems are making life easier for people across the country: helping doctors identify disease early; helping farmers grow food more efficiently; helping small business owners save money and serve their communities.

But we’ve also learned, time and time again, about people falling victim to discrimination at the hands of artificial intelligence and machine learning: Home seekers whose applications to apartment rentals were inexplicably rejected.

Women, who have been automatically sorted out of STEM job applicant pools, with no way to seek recourse.

Immigrant workers being surveilled by their employers with intrusive monitoring technologies.

Students erroneously accused of cheating by AI-enabled video surveillance.

Parents arrested and jailed after being misidentified by facial recognition tools.

Patients blocked by a biased algorithm from receiving a life-saving organ transplant.

Young people losing their sense of self because of the online world in which they live.

Entrepreneurs and engineers who recognize these problems, but don’t have the tools to root them out.

So today, after a year of deep engagement with the American people, we are releasing the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights.

Much more than a set of principles, this is a blueprint to empower the American people to expect better and demand better from their technologies.

The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is a call to make these five core protections a reality:

First, the systems you use should work; they should be safe and effective.

Second, you should be protected from algorithmic discrimination, and automated systems should be used and designed in an equitable way.

Third, you should be protected from abusive data practices via built-in protections, and you should have agency over how data about you is used.

Fourth, you should know when an automated system is being used and understand how and why it contributes to outcomes that impact you.

And fifth, you should be able to opt out and have access to a human being who can quickly help you solve the problem.

Simple, straightforward, common sense.

These are the protections to which everyone in America should be entitled.

The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is for everyone who interacts daily with these powerful technologies, and every person whose life could be altered by unaccountable algorithms.

But it is also for those who shape these technologies. Those who design them, build them, and in so doing, make decisions that will have serious consequences down the line in the lives of our communities.

Many building these technologies across America—from businesses to engineers—want to do the right thing.

Some have demonstrated a willful ignorance about the harms of the tools they deploy.

Policymakers want to do the right thing, too, but need support and partnership to help shape laws and regulations to protect their constituents.

So, for each of the five core protections, we have developed a detailed technical companion, with examples and concrete steps to build these protections into the technological design process.

We offer technical guidance and we provide real-life, proven examples of current laws, policies, and practices to drive new actions.

These principles and these practices aren’t just aspirational. They are achievable and necessary to build technologies and a society that works for all of us.

This is all going to play out in the specifics.

Let’s take the hiring process as an example.

Algorithmic decision making has screened out qualified candidates who aren’t like others in the company – keeping companies stuck in the past—and, in practice, excluding women, Hispanic applicants, and others from being interviewed.

The company could identify the problem with the data, the algorithm, or the process and take steps to collect better data, redesign the algorithm, and reimagine the hiring process, so each applicant has a fair chance to get the job.

And applicants should be able to understand this process.

This is what it means to bring principles into practice.

And it begins with leading by example.

That’s why today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions across the federal government that begin to implement the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights.

New initiatives to root out bias from healthcare algorithms.

Efforts to require employer disclosure of certain worker surveillance, whether or not they are using advanced technologies to do so.

Actions to help educators and students; patients and health-care providers; veterans; renters and home owners; consumers; families and communities.

We’re joined today by Biden-Harris Administration leaders who are clearing the way for these historic actions—the first of many to come.

These commitments are only a down payment, the start of transformative change to the way the U.S. government designs, uses, and regulates automated systems.

All of us have a role to play to bring tech development into the public square.

To make sure that innovation is rooted in equity, integrity, and our common humanity.

Whether you’re a project manager designing a new product, a parent seeking protections for your children, a worker advocating for better conditions, or a policymaker looking to help protect your constituents, this Blueprint will matter because of what you did with it. Because of what we did with it.

I feel deep gratitude to everyone who is with us today.

And for the work we will do together in the weeks and months ahead.

Thank you all again for being here.

And now, friends: let’s get to work.


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