Supreme Court chief justice report urges caution on use of AI ahead of contentious election year

The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts, has published a report urging caution when using artificial intelligence (AI) in an election year.

In the report, Chief Justice Roberts cautions that AI technology has the potential to create “unintended and unwanted effects that have the potential to confuse or mislead voters.” Roberts suggests that lawmakers take steps to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the technology, and to protect against its potential to undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

Furthermore, Roberts calls on lawmakers to “properly safeguard” the data collected to create, update, and/or analyze AI systems, including those created by states in making voting equipment, voting registration systems, and conducting post-election audits.

Chief Justice Roberts warns that Americans must be vigilant about entrance of AI into the electoral process and that “especially in an era of heightened partisanship and around an important election, caution and care must be taken to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our elections.”

The Supreme Court is expected to address a number of election-related issues in 2020, including the legal dispute over the 2020 census. Roberts’ warning could well extend to a wide range of elections-related technologies, including software and algorithms used to collect, analyze, and report voting data as well as technologies that are designed to influence or manipulate public opinion and voting behavior.

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