“Miriam Vogel, who is president and CEO at Equal AI, an organization that helps companies and policymakers address bias in AI, said the findings published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could have far-ranging implications for Black speakers using these systems, from being shut out of automated ordering or delivery systems, to being unfairly evaluated in job candidacy and promotion decisions.

“’A lot of companies are using AI for key functions like hiring and firing, and don’t realize they could be spreading the discrimination; doubling down,’ said Vogel, who formerly served as acting director of justice and regulatory affairs at the White House and led President Barack Obama’s Equal Pay Task Force. ‘In particular, I’ve talked to a lot of law firms and they want to address their diversity problems. And so they’re using AI [in the hiring process] with this concept that it’s neutral…’

“Vogel said legal pressure could nudge companies toward better practices. She cites Ousmane Bah’s $1 billion lawsuit against Apple over a false arrest he alleges resulted from Apple’s face recognition system as the kind of ‘legal liability we can expect to see in the coming years, as lawyers are clued into the liabilities that could be embedded with these biases…'”

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