The False Comfort of Human Oversight as an Antidote to A.I. Harm

Slate 2021

6 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2022

See all articles by Ben Green

Ben Green

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Society of Fellows; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Amba Kak

New York University (NYU) - AI Now Institute

Date Written: June 15, 2021

Abstract

In April, the European Commission released a wide-ranging proposed regulation to govern the design, development, and deployment of A.I. systems. The regulation stipulates that “high-risk A.I. systems” (such as facial recognition and algorithms that determine eligibility for public benefits) should be designed to allow for oversight by humans who will be tasked with preventing or minimizing risks. Often expressed as the “human-in-the-loop” solution, this approach of human oversight over A.I. is rapidly becoming a staple in A.I. policy proposals globally. And although placing humans back in the “loop” of A.I. seems reassuring, this approach is instead “loopy” in a different sense: It rests on circular logic that offers false comfort and distracts from inherently harmful uses of automated systems.

Suggested Citation

Green, Ben and Kak, Amba, The False Comfort of Human Oversight as an Antidote to A.I. Harm (June 15, 2021). Slate 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4046163

Ben Green (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Society of Fellows ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Amba Kak

New York University (NYU) - AI Now Institute

60 5th AVE, 8TH FLOOR
nyc, NY New York 10013
United States

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