The Biden administration on May 16 released a set of principles on artificial intelligence aimed at providing guidance to employers.

“Workers must be at the heart of our nation’s approach to AI technology development and use,” Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su said in a press release. “These principles announced today reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s belief that, in addition to complying with existing laws, artificial intelligence should also enhance the quality of work and life for all workers.”

According to the Department of Labor, the AI principles include:

  • Centering worker empowerment. Workers and their representatives, particularly those from underserved communities, should be informed of and have genuine input in the design, development, testing, training, use and oversight of AI systems for workplace use.
  • Ethically developing AI. AI systems should be designed, developed and trained in a way that protects workers.
  • Establishing AI governance and human oversight. Organizations should have clear governance systems, procedures, human oversight and evaluation processes for AI systems for use in the workplace.
  • Ensuring transparency in AI use. Employers should be transparent with workers and job seekers about the AI systems being used in the workplace.
  • Protecting labor and employment rights. AI systems should not violate or undermine workers’ right to organize, health and safety rights, wage and hour rights, and anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation protections.
  • Using AI to enable workers. AI systems should assist, complement and enable workers as well as improve job quality.
  • Supporting workers impacted by AI. Employers should support or upskill workers during job transitions related to AI.
  • Ensuring responsible use of worker data. Workers’ data collected, used or created by AI systems should be limited in scope and location, used only to support legitimate business aims and protected and handled responsibly.

The Department of Labor developed the principles as directed by Biden’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence.

In addition to the Biden administration’s set of principles, new legislation signed into law May 17 in the state of Colorado will add protections for consumers from artificial intelligence in a range of areas, including employment. However, the law has raised concerns, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis noted the law creates complex compliance and affirmative reporting requirements.

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