Senators Inquire About Federal Agencies’ Use of AI Technology

DHS recently updated information on the use of the technology for several months prior to the public disclosure.

Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mike Crapo of Idaho sent letters to federal agencies this month, questioning their responsible artificial intelligence (AI) practices. The inquiries were sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Broder Protection (CBP), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and requested information on how the agencies are implementing best practices in the use of AI.

“As is frequently the case with new technology, AI provides us with exciting opportunities to better serve the American people, but we’re only beginning to see the consequences of leaving these systems unchecked,” Senator Wyden stated. “The Federal government has a responsibility to ensure the systems it is using to make decisions that impact Americans’ daily lives are doing so accurately and without harmful bias.”

DHS updated its list of instances where it uses AI on October 31, adding the use of machine learning to expedite facial comparison technology in airport security. The department has been queried by journalists as to why their formal public update was not released until almost a year after they began using AI in this application.

A DHS spokesperson responded, “Due to DHS’s sensitive law enforcement and national security missions, we have a rigorous internal process for evaluating whether certain sensitive AI Use Cases are safe to share externally. These use cases have recently been cleared for sharing externally.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretaries Becerra and Mayorkas as they respond to the senators’ inquiry.
  • For Acting Commissioner Troy Miller as he oversees U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • For members of Congress as they seek to ensure the protection of Americans’ privacy.

Sources: FedScoop, MeriTalk


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