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New Guidance for Government AI Use Includes Critical Protections for Civil Rights and Workers

Washington, D.C. — Today, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released new guidance for federal agencies on deploying AI. 

Richard Anthony, Public Citizen’s emerging technologies policy advocate, issued the following statement in response: 

“The important finalized guidance announced today reflects the Biden Administration’s commitment to prioritizing the public interest over corporate profits in the deployment of AI technologies across federal agencies.

“We are particularly happy to see our call for the continued consultation of racial, ethnic, and other minorities regarding the federal government’s use of AI realized in today’s updated guidance. This requirement will enrich the discourse surrounding AI governance and help foster AI innovation that reflects the needs and values of all Americans, not just a select few. 

“The requirement for federal agencies to explain why they are utilizing AI over alternative solutions is critical because it helps position AI as the tool it is, and not as a means to eliminate jobs or human oversight. Overall, this final guidance is a meaningful step forward towards responsible AI deployment and ensuring that government actions align with democratic principles and public interests. 

“Successful use of AI in the federal government is a necessary predicate for its use in an equitable, safe, and ethical manner in the private sector, and with that in mind we applaud today’s release. 

“As vital as the new guidance is, however, addressing the novel challenges posed by AI requires new authority. It is imperative that Congress move quickly to legislate AI safeguards to protect our democracy, economy, privacy, security and even the ability to trust what we see and hear.”

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact eleach@citizen.org