S.T.O.P., A.I. Now Applaud Gounardes Proposal For NY Artificial Intelligence Task Force

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For Immediate Release

S.T.O.P., A.I. Now Applaud Gounardes Proposal for NY Artificial Intelligence Task Force
(NEW YORK, NY, 6/11/2019) – Today, the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), a New York-based privacy group, and the AI Now Institute applauded State Senator Andrew Gounardes’ proposal of S6428, creating a statewide task force on the role of artificial intelligence in New York State Government. If enacted, S6428’s 15-member task force would review how state agencies use artificial intelligence tools to make decisions about policing, education, state hiring, and other areas of government operations.

SEE: S6428 Text

The proposal comes as New York City’s earlier effort at AI transparency faltered, with City Officials refusing to give taskforce members information about existing AI technology used in New York City Government. New York City’s first in the country task force has drawn increasing scrutiny for advocates and industry experts who question its ability to comply with the city’s legislative mandate. In contrast, S6428 would guarantee task force members access to information about how state agencies already use artificial intelligence.

SEE: New York City's AI task force stalls
New York City’s algorithm task force is fracturing https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/15/18309437/new-york-city-accountability-task-force-law-algorithm-transparency-automation
“This is a landmark effort to protect New Yorkers from the threat artificial intelligence poses to our privacy and civil rights,” said STOP Executive Director Albert Fox Cahn. “For years, AI tools have transformed how our communities are policed, how students are educated, and how state workers perform countless jobs. This task force will help ensure that new technologies don’t come at the price of age-old values. AI can be a powerful tool to make government more efficient, but it can also increase bias and discrimination. By enacting this task force we can make sure that New York doesn’t fall behind the growing number of states that are grappling with the power and pitfalls of artificial intelligence. Excitingly, the task force could turn New York into a real leader in addressing the impact of AI on government, creating a model for the rest of the country.”

“It's imperative that we know how government use of AI affects individuals,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “As we move towards a new world of automated services and smarter government, we need clear legal and ethical guidelines to ensure fairness and justice for every New Yorker. Algorithms are not inherently fair and neutral--human biases are built into them. That's why the future of government requires accountability, transparency and smart decision-making.”

“Over the past decade, rapid advancements in automated decision systems have left many New Yorkers susceptible to privacy threats and data breaches,” said AI Now Institute Policy Director Rashida Richardson. “With government agencies continuing to utilize these systems without any regulations or public transparency, women, gender minorities, and communities of color will continue to bear the brunt of biased algorithms. As an organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about the social implications of AI, we support legislation that establishes a state-level Automated Decision Systems Task Force to ensure New Yorkers can hold public officials accountable for deploying these systems in a way that advances equity, fairness, and transparency for all.”

The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project STOP is a non-profit advocacy organization and legal services provider hosted by the Urban Justice Center. STOP litigates and advocates for privacy, fighting excessive local and state-level surveillance. Our work highlights the discriminatory impact of surveillance on Muslim Americans, immigrants, and communities of color.

The AI Now Institute—part of New York University—produces interdisciplinary research on the social implications of artificial intelligence and acts as a hub for the emerging field focused on these issues.
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CONTACT: STOP Executive Director Albert Fox Cahn;

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