New York drafts new bill to address AI bias


  • The city of New York has implemented a new law that will address areas of bias and promote fairness in using AI tools.
  • The legislation will enable fairness and address complaints.

New York City recently implemented a new legislation focused on artificial intelligence-driven employment tools, which aims to address bias and promote fairness in employment decisions. The legislation, known as Local Law 144, prohibits employers and agencies from utilizing automated employment decision tools (AEDT) unless these tools have undergone a biased audit within the past year.

New York passed legislation to eliminate AI bias

Under the regulation, the audit results must be publicly available, and employees, as well as job candidates, must be provided with appropriate notices. The law defines automated employment decision tools as systems that either assist or replace discretionary decision-making. Examples of such tools include popular platforms like Freshworks, Breezy HR, Greenhouse, and Zoho Recruits, which are commonly used for resume screening or pre-screening.

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) will play a crucial role in enforcing this new rule. In response to inquiries about potential bias violations, the DCWP will collect and investigate complaints. The agency stated that civil penalties for violations will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and separate violations may be assessed for each day that AEDT usage violates the law.

A recent report by a business review website, B2B Reviews, highlighted the increasing prevalence of AI tools in human resources (HR) departments. According to the report, 21% of surveyed HR departments acknowledged using AI tools, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, for training and development purposes, resulting in an average time savings of 70 minutes per week. Additionally, 10% of HR departments stated that they relied on chatbots, like ChatGPT, for drafting termination letters.

The legislation will enable fairness and address complaints

The development of the AEDT rule involved careful consideration of the rights of job applicants and the needs of businesses. The spokesperson for the DCWP emphasized the aim to strike an appropriate regulatory balance between these two factors during the rulemaking process.

The introduction of this legislation reflects growing concerns about potential biases and discrimination in AI-driven employment tools. As artificial intelligence becomes more integrated into various aspects of our lives, ensuring fairness and transparency is crucial. By mandating regular bias audits and making the results accessible to the public, New York City aims to hold employers and agencies accountable for the responsible use of automated employment decision tools.

Critics argue that this legislation may impose additional burdens on businesses and limit their ability to leverage AI tools effectively. They caution that the requirement for frequent audits might hinder innovation and discourage the adoption of beneficial technologies. Balancing the need for fairness with the potential impact on business operations remains an ongoing challenge in the rapidly evolving field of AI and employment practices.

Nevertheless, the implementation of Local Law 144 in New York City sets a precedent for other jurisdictions to consider similar regulations to safeguard against bias in AI-driven employment tools. As AI continues to shape the employment landscape, policymakers, businesses, and advocacy groups must work collaboratively to establish guidelines that promote fairness, inclusivity, and transparency in the use of these powerful technologies.

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Owotunse Adebayo

Adebayo loves to keep tab of exciting projects in the blockchain space. He is a seasoned writer who has written tons of articles about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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