Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

The ACLU has begun to worry that artificial intelligence is discriminatory based on race, gender and age. So it teamed up with computer science researchers to launch a program to promote applications of AI that protect rights and lead to equitable outcomes.

MIT Technology Review reports that the initiative is the latest to illustrate general concern that the increasing reliance on algorithms to make decisions in the areas of hiring, criminal justice, and financial services will reinforce racial and gender biases.

One example: A computer program used by jurisdictions to help with paroling prisoners that ProPublica found would go easy on white offenders while being unduly harsh to black ones.

Why it matters: There's been much talk, but no action from large tech companies and other institutions using these algorithms, in terms of systematically investigating what biases are being reinforced and what remedies might be.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines
  4. Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  5. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  6. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  7. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  8. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The 2020 holiday season may just kill Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Online retail and e-commerce have been chipping away at brick-and-mortar businesses over the years but the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 holiday season may prove to be a knockout blow.

State of play: Anxious consumers say financial concerns and health worries will push them to spend less money this year and to do more of their limited spending online.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.