Adam S. Forman, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Detroit and Chicago offices, discusses AI bias at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Retail Law Summit.

Following is an excerpt:

How will changes at the Federal Trade Commission affect retailers? Can artificial intelligence result in unintended discrimination? Where do diversity, equity and inclusion efforts intersect with immigration law?
Those were just a few of the issues addressed as more than 700 retail industry attorneys, risk and compliance officers, and human resources executives gathered for NRF’s online Retail Law Summit this month. Speakers included a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a former member of the FTC and practice chairs from some of the nation’s most prominent law firms. …
The three-day conference covered workforce topics, consumer protection and the impact of technology. Here are some of the highlights. …
Bias in, bias out when AI is used improperly
Once companies started using artificial intelligence to sort through resumes, many assumed a computer wasn’t capable of bias or discrimination. But Adam Forman, who co-leads the AI practice at Epstein, Becker and Green, says that isn’t the case.
“They say garbage in, garbage out, so if the algorithm is trained or learns from bad data or biased data, that would impact the outcome,” Forman said. “By using an algorithm instead of human intervention, you would be screening out otherwise qualified applicants. In other words, it could be a flawed process.”
And if AI results in discrimination, blaming the computer won’t get companies off the hook, EEOC Commissioner Keith Sonderling said.
“No matter what you do as employers right now, you are liable for the employment decision whether it’s made by a computer or whether it’s made by a hiring manager,” he said. Employers know human bias can lead to discrimination and work to avoid it “but you have to take the same considerations when using AI … before you ever let it make a decision on someone’s livelihood.”
The EEOC joined with the Department of Justice last year to issue guidance on how to avoid discrimination in hiring under the Americans with Disabilities Act and held a hearing this January on “Navigating Employment Discrimination in AI and Automated Systems.” Other agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and the FTC are also taking a close look at AI and “it’s all going to affect you whether or not you think you’re actually regulated by these agencies,” Sonderling said.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.