New EEOC guidance helps organizations review and monitor AI tools, while a Forbes article raises concerns of AI and ageism.
While some senior living organizations are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to assist with hiring and staffing decisions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has cautioned that AI-powered tools may discriminate against job seekers and workers.
A new technical assistance document is intended to help employers steer clear of violations.
Ensuring a Fair Workplace
At issue is potential discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Traditional human resources processes that prevent this discrimination may not cover AI and other automated tools.
An EEOC press release pointed to the use of automated systems, including those with AI, that assist with a “selection procedure,” such as choosing candidates to hire, monitoring performance, and determining pay or promotions. “Without proper safeguards, their use may run the risk of violating existing civil rights laws,” the release said.
“I encourage employers to conduct an ongoing self-analysis to determine whether they are using technology in a way that could result in discrimination,” EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows noted in the press release. “This technical assistance resource is another step in helping employers and vendors understand how civil rights laws apply to automated systems used in employment.”
A recent Forbes article has also highlighted ways that AI can contribute to ageism.
“The risk of ageism through AI is a real concern,” says the article. “Like other challenges in this space, this risk manifests from a lack of engagement of older adults in the solution, a lack of contextual understanding by AI developers and policies and regulations that are slow to catch up.”
“How To Minimize Ageism Through The Use Of AI” offers solutions around addressing digital literacy for older adults, ensuring data collection is age-inclusive, gaining older adults’ input on regulatory frameworks for AI, and more.
Ongoing AI Risk
These concerns are being voiced at the same time as the nonprofit Center for AI Safety has shared a one-sentence open letter: “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.” Hundreds of AI scientists, leaders of major AI labs, and other AI experts had signed the open letter as of May 30, 2023.