The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and officials from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission jointly committed to an all-hands-on-deck effort “to investigate, challenge and combat discrimination based on automated systems” now that “social media platforms, banks, landlords, employers and other businesses…rely on artificial intelligence, algorithms and other data tools to automate decision-making and to conduct business” that “too often result…in discriminatory outcomes.”

As part of the commitment, the agencies also issued a “Joint Statement of Enforcement” explaining their respective areas of focus in this effort. The joint statement also explains common problems related to automated systems, including when those systems rely on data and datasets which incorporate historical bias, that many automated systems are “black boxes” whose internal workings are not clear to most people and that the design of automated systems may not fully contemplate their ultimate use.