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Racial Discrimination: Technology

Question for Women and Equalities

UIN 13054, tabled on 9 June 2021

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 25 May 2021 to Question 3857 on Racial Discrimination: Technology and with reference to the conclusions report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report, published on 31 March 2021, whether it is her policy (a) that before dismissing any system, it should be compared with the alternative, (b) that an automated system may be imperfect, but a human system may be worse, and (c) to make a comparative assessment of the potential merits of using (i) automated and (ii) human systems.

Answered on

14 June 2021

The independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published its findings on 31 March 2021. The report took an evidence-led approach drawing on academic research, expert views and over 2,300 submissions to the call for evidence. The Employment and Enterprise chapter of the report summarises the Commission’s research about Artificial Intelligence systems and bias in technology.

The Commission recommended that the government issue guidance that clarifies how to apply the Equality Act to algorithmic decision-making and require transparency for public sector bodies when this is applied to decisions concerning individuals. The government is still carefully considering the report’s findings and recommendations and will respond in full this summer.

Answered by

Women and Equalities
Named day
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