WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Tech Oversight Project and over 15 progressive allies led a letter to Vice President Kamala Harris thanking her for her commitment on behalf of the Biden Administration to tackle the AI harms of today, including discriminatory algorithms, digital threats to our democracy, and harmful facial recognition software, over industry-led talking points that obscure the negative experiences people are having right now. The letter also commends the Biden Administration’s recent Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. Read the full letter below.
November 10, 2023
The Honorable Kamala Harris
Vice President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Vice President Harris:
We, the undersigned organizations, have been working to highlight the risks and harms posed by Artificial Intelligence and have been engaged in efforts to advocate for legislation to regulate the emerging technology. As you astutely noted in your recent remarks at the U.S. Embassy in London, the harms are not only hypothetical or occurring in a far-off future; they are happening right now.
We commend you for shifting public attention to these immediate harms caused by A.I., including discriminatory algorithms, deep-fakes, facial recognition, and disinformation. We are encouraged by the imperative set in your speech to move swiftly to advance policies that make A.I. safer for communities across the globe.
As the New York Times reported, your speech outlined “the ways that A.I. could already disenfranchise and discriminate against vulnerable populations.” You described examples such as “a senior kicked off his health care plan because of a faulty algorithm, a woman threatened by an abusive partner with explicit deep fake photographs, a young father wrongfully imprisoned because of biased facial recognition.” These stories need to be shared, so policymakers can take action that prevents similar harms from happening in the future.
As you also noted, we have also seen that A.I. is already undermining democracy. In Slovakia, A.I. deepfake videos were used to sway the electorate. In the United Kingdom, a discredited fake audio file of opposition leader Keir Starmer was shared widely online. These instances have real-world consequences and will only become more severe as A.I. advances. We must enact policies that safeguard our own democracy from A.I. generated misinformation and disinformation, while preserving free expression and human rights.
As such, we commend the Administration for prioritizing A.I. safety, including President Biden’s recent Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence.
The establishment of an A.I. Safety Institute to guide the government’s efforts to protect people from the dangers of A.I. and the principles described in the A.I. Bill of Rights are welcomed steps toward a people-first regulatory environment. We hope Congress will meet the urgency of this global challenge with the same leadership you and President Biden have.
As our organizations continue advocating for comprehensive A.I. legislation and regulation, we are heartened by your leadership on this important issue, and stand ready to amplify, support, and work together with you on future efforts.
The Tech Oversight Project
American Federation of Teachers
Design It For Us
Fight For The Future
Hip Hop Caucus
Incarcerated Nation Network, LLC
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Institute for Strategic Dialogue
National Education Association
Venice Resistance of California