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News » New York enforces groundbreaking law on AI hiring bias

New York enforces groundbreaking law on AI hiring bias

New York AI hiring bias law

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — America’s first-ever law regulating Artificial Intelligence (AI) bias in hiring is set to take effect today, July 5, in New York City.

The law, enforced by the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, requires more transparency from employers using AI and algorithmic tools in hiring and promotion decisions. It also mandates companies to undergo annual audits for potential bias within their systems.

Enacted first in 2021, the law stipulates that firms using AI for hiring or promotions must inform all candidates of its use and disclose the collected personal data. Given that approximately 80% of American employers use some form of automated technology for employment decisions, this law is a significant step in making the hiring process transparent.

Under this law, companies must hire independent auditors annually to check their AI tools for bias using an “impact ratio.” This ratio measures the technology’s impact on hiring across legally protected groups, including race, ethnicity, and gender.

However, critics argued that the law may not be comprehensive enough to protect job candidates adequately. Some expressed concerns over loopholes allowing developers to evade or bypass audits. 

“There’s a real concern that good governance tools, like audits and impact assessments regarding artificial intelligence programs, become this administrative wand-waving in front of your face,” said Ben Winters, Senior Counsel and AI and human rights lead at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). 

Despite the criticisms, other advocates believe this law is crucial in providing transparency and will serve as a concrete starting point for future AI regulation in hiring.

States like California, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont, along with the District of Columbia, are also working on similar regulations to manage the use of AI in hiring. 

The European Union also recently approved the EU AI Act to help lawmakers limit the use of high-risk technology and ban “unacceptable” software.

Read more here.

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