The Theory of Artificial Immutability: Protecting Algorithmic Groups Under Anti-Discrimination Law

by   Sandra Wachter, et al.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly used to make important decisions about people. While issues of AI bias and proxy discrimination are well explored, less focus has been paid to the harms created by profiling based on groups that do not map to or correlate with legally protected groups such as sex or ethnicity. This raises a question: are existing equality laws able to protect against emergent AI-driven inequality? This article examines the legal status of algorithmic groups in North American and European non-discrimination doctrine, law, and jurisprudence and will show that algorithmic groups are not comparable to traditional protected groups. Nonetheless, these new groups are worthy of protection. I propose a new theory of harm - "the theory of artificial immutability" - that aims to bring AI groups within the scope of the law. My theory describes how algorithmic groups act as de facto immutable characteristics in practice that limit people's autonomy and prevent them from achieving important goals.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


How Could Equality and Data Protection Law Shape AI Fairness for People with Disabilities?

This article examines the concept of 'AI fairness' for people with disab...

An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Solutions to the Problems of Algorithmic Discrimination

There is substantial evidence that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Mach...

Using sensitive data to prevent discrimination by AI: Does the GDPR need a new exception?

Organisations can use artificial intelligence to make decisions about pe...

Does mitigating ML's disparate impact require disparate treatment?

Following related work in law and policy, two notions of prejudice have ...

Regulating Gatekeeper AI and Data: Transparency, Access, and Fairness under the DMA, the GDPR, and beyond

Artificial intelligence is not only increasingly used in business and ad...

Freedom of Speech and AI Output

Is the output of generative AI entitled to First Amendment protection? W...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset