UNM professor highlights major concerns over AI

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As technology continues to advance beyond commercial industries, a local professor is raising concerns about AI.

“I actually believe that where there is no regulation, technology will continue unbounded,” says Sonia Gipson Rankin, an associate professor at the University Of New Mexico School of Law.

With a background in computer science, Gipson Rankin’s work expands into the technological realm of artificial intelligence.

In an upcoming paper with New York University Law Review titled, “The MiDAS Touch: Atuahene’s “Stategraft” and the Implications of Unregulated Artificial Intelligence,” Gipson Rankin examines AI’s role in Michigan’s controversial Integrated Data Automated System (MiDAS) Incident.

Back in 2013, the state spent over $47 million on a new AI software to detect unemployment fraud while cutting hundreds of jobs in the process. However, within a few years, the AI system falsely detected 40,000 people committed fraud.

“Unfortunately, it was wrong 93 percent of the time. What occurred was though that these people were having their IRS tax refunds taken from them. Their wages and new employment places were being garnished,” said Gipson Rankin.

The state of Michigan agreed to pay $20.8 million in damages, leading state officials to replace the software in 2022 with a “human-centered” system.

Although popular software like ChatGPT could expand AI growth, Gipson Rankin believes there should be oversight.

“I think that the most important thing is if you’re looking to supplement, augment, enhance your workplace in some way with artificial intelligence — whether it’s with the hiring process, whether it’s with oversight or surveillance of your facilities or however it’s being used, it’s critical that there be appropriate human oversight at a number of critical points.”

For more information on Gipson Rankin’s article, click here.