US Federal Agencies to Regulate the Use of AI and Automation
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated systems has skyrocketed in recent years, bringing about both promise and concerns. Acknowledging this fact, four US federal agencies have issued a joint statement pledging to regulate the use of AI and automated systems more strictly. The statement is a promising step towards ensuring fairness, equality, and justice as emerging automated systems become more commonplace, impacting civil rights, fair competition, consumer protection, and law enforcement. As per information from the sourcethe healthcare sector, including nursing home providers and technology providers, will not be spared by the strict monitoring and regulation.
Implications for Nursing Home Providers and Technology Providers
The joint declaration by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission pledges to enforce their respective laws and regulations to promote responsible innovation in automated systems while monitoring the development and use of AI to curb potentially harmful uses.
For nursing home providers and technology providers, the pledge could mean stricter regulation of employment discrimination and inaccuracies in electronic health records (EHRs). The use of algorithms or AI to hire new employees, monitor performance, and determine salary or promotions could result in unlawful discrimination against people with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Furthermore, the use of new technologies, such as AI-based software, could lead to inaccuracies in EHRs, making it more difficult for nursing homes and senior facilities to offer their residents the best possible care and services.
A Federal Crackdown on Employment Discrimination and Inaccuracies
Tuesday’s statement continues federal efforts to curb employment discrimination. Last year, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the US Department of Justice released documents about disability discrimination when employers use AI and other software tools to make employment decisions.
In the wake of the joint announcement, FTC Chairman Lina M. Khan said, “We already see how AI tools can drive fraud and automate discrimination, and we will not hesitate to use the full reach of our legal authorities to protect Americans from these threats.” Federal agencies are clearly keeping an eye on these technology-driven dangers to ensure that technological advances do not mask breaking the law.
The Path Ahead
The use of AI and automated systems holds immense promise for the healthcare industry. However, their potential dangers cannot be ignored. The joint statement by four federal agencies is a positive step towards ensuring that AI and automated systems contribute to the betterment of society while preserving fairness, equality, and justice. As the path ahead takes shape, nursing home providers, technology providers, and those who employ AI and automated systems would do well to keep an eye on developing regulations and ensure that their practices comply with laws and regulations.
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