AI Policy Principles

Guiding Policy Principles for Responsible AI

The emergence of generative AI has captured the attention of people around the world; its potential impacts ripple throughout our economy and society—at times with devastating effects. This buzz has caused policymakers, advocates, and technologists to adapt their thinking about what’s possible—and what we should do about it.

TechEquity’s mission is to ensure that the products and practices of the tech industry are advancing human flourishing rather than undermining it. Given the growing role of artificial intelligence (and other digital technologies) in defining the economic prospects of everyday people and the scale of the technology’s potential impact, these tools are squarely in our focus across all of our programs and issue areas. We will undertake work to ensure that there are proper guardrails in place; that companies are accountable for implementing practices that ensure equity in the design, development, deployment, and oversight of these tools; and that on-the-ground civil and human rights organizations feel equipped to advocate for solutions that mitigate impacts of these tools in the communities where they live and work.

The AI Policy Principles outline how we plan to go about that work.

Operating Assumptions

An individual’s or society’s experience of technology can differ based on how much power and agency they have to weather any changes these emergent technologies may bring. Therefore, it is critically important to address these contexts, in addition to addressing the functionality of the tools themselves, when developing policy solutions. Ensuring that AI will enable human flourishing rather than undermine it will require that we have clear guardrails, strong safety nets, and robust methods for the participation of impacted people in the design and deployment of technology.

Technology’s growth does not follow a linear, formulaic equation. Technology is shaped by people, by companies, by governments, and by society. We have the opportunity to direct where the technology goes and to build power to ensure that the technology benefits those who are most everyone in our economy—rather than leaving them behind. 

This coalition must row together toward the ultimate goal of mitigating the harms of AI and maximizing its benefits for all members of society. When it comes to AI, though our work falls into two specific issue areas—housing and labor—we understand it to be interconnected with a wide range of other issues. We work in collaboration with partners across the economic equity, civil rights, labor, democracy, and privacy movements. We support their efforts and aim to be in conversation at the intersection of our issues so that the whole is greater than the sum of our parts.

Because AI systems are complex, the voices of technologists tend to be elevated in the conversation about how to implement effective guardrails. While we need people with skills in designing and developing AI in these conversations, equally important are the values and perspectives of those who understand the impacts of AI systems on the ground. Expertise in the technical development of AI systems should not be used as a gating criterion to these important conversations, and policy conversations about AI should recognize that AI developers have as much to learn from the experiences of people impacted by the technology as they can teach about the technology. 

The Guiding Principles

People who are impacted by AI must have agency to shape the technology that dictates their access to critical needs like employment, housing, and healthcare. 

The burden of proof must lie with developers, vendors, and deployers to demonstrate that their tools do not create harm—and regulators, as well as private citizens, should be empowered to hold them accountable.

Concentrated power and information asymmetries must be addressed in order to effectively regulate the technology.

What We Plan to Do

As outlined in our strategic plan, we are advancing three initiatives at the intersection of technology and economic equity across housing, labor, and the AI supply chain.

Tech, Bias, and Housing Initiative

Contract Workers and the AI Supply Chain

Tech, Bias, and Labor Initiative

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The Full Principles

Download the full AI Policy Principles here: