The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made some exciting announcements regarding artificial intelligence (AI). They have introduced two new policies that focus on preventing bias and discrimination in AI usage. In addition, they have appointed their first chief AI officer, Eric Hysen, who is also the DHS Chief Information Officer and co-chair of the DHS Artificial Intelligence Task Force.
Hysen emphasized the importance of ensuring that AI usage within the department is free from discrimination and fully compliant with the law. He stated that these policies will help retain the public’s trust in the department’s use of AI.
The two new policies, titled “Acquisition and Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning by DHS Components” and “Use of Face Recognition and Face Capture Technologies,” highlight the need to avoid inappropriate consideration of various factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and more. The policies also address the issue of unintended bias or disparate impact.
The first policy, which was issued last month, focuses on AI use in general, including machine learning. DHS aims to minimize bias and discriminatory effects in AI usage and has pledged not to use AI technology for improper monitoring or surveillance purposes.
The second policy, issued on 9/11, specifically addresses face recognition and face capture technologies. DHS ensures that data collection from these technologies will not be based on factors such as race or gender to minimize bias and disparate impact. The policy also clarifies that face analysis technology will only be used when necessary to estimate age.
To further develop AI policy and implementation, DHS has established an AI Policy Working Group (AIPWG) in collaboration with the Artificial Intelligence Task Force (AITF).
The AITF, created by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in April, aims to develop departmental policy on AI usage. The task force’s goals include enhancing supply chain integrity, countering the flow of fentanyl, combating online child exploitation, and securing critical infrastructure.
Eric Hysen’s co-chair in the AITF is Dimitri Kusnezov, the DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. Prior to co-chairing the AITF, Hysen had an impressive career working under former President Barack Obama and major tech companies.
In addition to the AITF and AIPWG, the Homeland Security Advisory Council and its subcommittees are also involved in developing AI policy. The Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) has a group of internal stakeholders known as the Responsible Use Group (RUG) who provide input on AITF projects.
These initiatives demonstrate the DHS’s commitment to responsible and unbiased AI usage, ensuring that the department’s actions align with the law and maintain the public’s trust.
How does the Department of Homeland Security ensure that AI systems procured and deployed across the department do not harbor biases or discriminate against individuals or groups?
Such as race, gender, religion, and nationality when using AI systems. These policies aim to enhance transparency, accountability, and ethical use of AI technologies within the DHS.
The first policy, “Acquisition and Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning by DHS Components,” establishes guidelines for the procurement and deployment of AI systems across the department. It emphasizes the need for thorough testing and evaluation of these systems to ensure they do not harbor biases or discriminate against any individual or group. The policy also emphasizes the importance of obtaining appropriate consent and respecting privacy rights when using AI technologies.
The second policy, “Use of Face Recognition and Face Capture Technologies,” focuses specifically on the use of facial recognition technology within the DHS. This policy emphasizes the importance of using this technology responsibly and avoiding its misuse or abuse. It outlines guidelines for collecting, storing, and sharing facial data, as well as measures to prevent unlawful profiling or targeting based on demographics or other prohibited factors.
Eric Hysen’s appointment as the DHS Chief AI Officer further showcases the department’s commitment to promoting unbiased and ethical AI usage. With his extensive experience in both technology and government affairs, Hysen is well-positioned to oversee the implementation of these new policies and ensure adherence to best practices in AI deployment.
Hysen recognizes the crucial role that AI plays in the department’s operations but also acknowledges the potential risks if not used responsibly. He understands that AI systems can amplify existing biases and perpetuate discrimination if not carefully monitored and regulated. Therefore, he believes that these new policies are essential for maintaining public trust and confidence in the DHS’s use of AI.
By prioritizing fairness, accountability, and compliance with the law, the DHS aims to set a positive example for other government agencies and private organizations utilizing AI technology. The department’s focus on preventing bias and discrimination in AI usage demonstrates a commitment to upholding civil liberties and ensuring equal treatment for all individuals, regardless of their background or characteristics.
In conclusion, the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement of two new policies and the appointment of Eric Hysen as Chief AI Officer signal a significant step toward promoting ethical and unbiased AI usage. These initiatives underscore the importance of transparency, accountability, and public trust in the department’s deployment of AI technologies. By taking proactive measures to prevent bias and discrimination, the DHS sets a precedent for responsible AI usage, paving the way for a fairer and more inclusive future in the field of artificial intelligence.
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