Monday, March 15, 2021

Law Commission of Ontario Report on Legal Issues and Government AI Development

 The Law Commission of Ontario has published a report from a workshop organized with the Ontario government on the topic of Legal Issues and Government AI Development:

"Government interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) systems is growing rapidly. This is because AI and ADM have tremendous potential to transform government decision-making and public services (...)"

"(...) in the US, AI and ADM tools are currently being used to assist government operations 'across the full range of governance tasks', including:

  • Enforcing regulatory mandates centred on market efficiency, workplace safety, health care, and environmental protection;
  • Adjudicating government benefits, from disability benefits to intellectual property rights;Monitoring and analyzing risks to public health and safety;
  • Extracting useable information from the government’s massive data streams, from consumer complaints to weather patterns; and
  • Communicating with the public about its rights and obligations as welfare beneficiaries, taxpayers, asylum seekers, and business owners."

"However, along with great potential is great concern. Many government AI and ADM systems are criticized due to serious concerns about racial bias, lack of transparency and legal accountability, data issues and inadequate public engagement."

"In many instances, AI and/or ADM systems are being used to either make or assist government decisions that impact individual rights, interests and obligations. For example, AI and ADM systems are currently being used by many governments to determine government benefits, immigration eligibility, assess the risk of child abuse, identify individuals likely to be criminals and prioritize access to housing, to name a few examples. As a result, justice system stakeholders in Canada and elsewhere are analyzing the legal principles, statutory rules and constitutional requirements that arise when government decision-making is assisted by machines (...)"

"The need to address these issues prompted the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) and the Ontario Digital Service (ODS) to bring together Government of Ontario lawyers, policymakers, operational managers and technology experts with Law Commission counsel and advisors for an informal and collaborative discussion about artificial intelligence, automated decision-making and the law."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:22 pm


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