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  • Writer's pictureEric Nentrup

EdSAFE's Response to The White House Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights

Jim Larimore, Chairman & Co-Founder, EdSAFE AI Alliance

Here at The Alliance, we continue sharing our mission and finding synchronicity with other agencies. After scanning the recently announced Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, I saw an alignment with our own SAFE Benchmarks Framework. Below I will share the cross-references I identified between the proposed AI Bill of Rights and our EdSAFE work:

The Blueprint “identified five principles to guide the design, use and deployment of automated systems to protect the American public in the age of artificial intelligence.”:

  1. Safe and Effective Systems

  2. Algorithmic Discrimination Protections

  3. Data Privacy

  4. Notice and Explanation

  5. Human Alternatives, Consideration, and Fallback

I see these five principles aligning with the EdSAFE framework in the following ways:

Safety and Effectiveness: Safety is mentioned with a focus on “built-in data privacy protections” and an inclusive design process with “consultation from diverse communities, stakeholders and domain experts to identify concerns, risks, and potential impacts” of the systems. Pre-deployment testing, risk identification and mitigation, and ongoing monitoring to demonstrate safety and effectiveness are listed as important considerations for safety and effectiveness. There are specific references to “heightened oversight” of surveillance technologies inclusive of those used in education.

The section on Data Privacy notes a number of specific measures including:

  • Privacy protections included by default.

  • Data collection limited to data strictly necessary for the specific context.

  • User permissions regarding “data collection, use, access, transfer and deletion” to the greatest extent possible.

  • Consent requests should be brief and in understandable plain language.

  • Whenever possible, users should be provided with reporting that confirms their data decisions have been respected.

Accountability: The principle on Notice and Explanation states that users “should know that an automated system is being used and understand how and why it contributes to outcomes” that impact them. These notices and explanations should be provided in “generally accessible plain language” explanations and name “the individual or organization responsible for the system.

There is also language in the Safe and Effective Systems principle that aligns with the notion of accountability. For example, the value of “Independent evaluation and reporting” to confirm safety and effectiveness, the “reporting of steps taken to mitigate potential harms,” and the results of these evaluations being made public.

The fifth principle on Human Alternatives, Consideration, and Fallback states that people “should be able to opt out, where appropriate, and have access to a person who can quickly consider and remedy problems you encounter.” This seems like a reasonable principle for us to fold into the Accountability area of EdSAFE.

Fairness: AI Bill of Rights language urges protections against “discrimination by algorithms” and “proactive and continuous measures” to protect against discrimination In algorithms and systems. Designers, developers and deployers of automated systems are urged to “take proactive and continuous measures to protect individuals and communities”—from discrimination in the design to development processes to the actual use of systems. Proactive equity assessments are mentioned, as is the use of representative data and protection against the use of proxies for demographic features, as well as ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities. Again, independent evaluation and “plain language reporting” in the form of an “algorithmic impact assessment” are mentioned.

Efficacy: Effectiveness is mentioned in several of the stated principles, with an emphasis on independent evaluation and public reporting.

Although the current AI Bill of Rights is not yet enacted policy, it lays the groundwork for important decisions and policy development moving forward. The alignment with the EdSAFE Framework is clear and confirms the importance of our continued efforts.


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