We have joined EDRi (European Digital Rights network) and number of social partners in an open letter to the European Commission on calling for the introduction of red lines in the upcoming European Commission proposal on Artificial Intelligence. We have particularly highlighted the dangers of using AI systems to determine access to social rights and benefits for persons with disabilities.
There have been several examples where AI technologies were used in a way that resulted in discrimination against persons with disabilities in different spheres of life. For example, the Austria’s employment agency was criticised for rolling out a sorting algorithm that gave lower scores to women and persons with disabilities, thereby reducing their chance of finding work. HireVue, an AI-powered video-interviewing system used by large firms such as Goldman Sachs and Unilever, was found to massively discriminate against many persons with disabilities who have out of the ‘norm’ facial expressions and voice. Among others, this affected deaf, blind and deafblind persons, as well as those with speech impairments and people who survived a stroke. There have also been cases of discriminatory use of AI technologies against persons with disabilities by state and private entities in the allocation of social benefits and access to education.
The open letter is in line with EDF’s feedback to the European Commission’s Whitepaper on Artificial Intelligence. The letter, which was sent to the European Commission, is also published on POLITCO’s AI decoded and EDRi website.
- EDF “Plug and Pray?” Report: A disability perspective on artificial intelligence, automated decision-making and emerging technologies
- EDF response to Consultation on the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence – A European Approach
- EDF recommendations on the European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence – A European Approach to excellence and trust
Mher Hakobyan – Accessibility Officer
Alejandro Moledo – Policy Coordinator