Unintentional Algorithmic Discrimination: How Artificial Intelligence Undermines Disparate Impact Jurisprudence

By: Vincent Calderon Artificial intelligence holds the capacity to revolutionize the economy by capturing efficiencies. These benefits, ostensibly, should pass down to consumers, thereby benefitting the general public. But the immense complexity of AI systems is bound to introduce legal hurdles for plaintiffs and frustrate our disparate impact jurisprudence. Specifically, demonstrating causation and proffering a less discriminatory alternative are herculean tasks for a plaintiff seeking to prove a disparate impact upon which legal relief may be granted. The courts have already begun to wrestle with these issues, primarily in the housing and employment sectors. With the rapid surge of AI systems, courts should expect further inquiry into how these programs interfere with our established antidiscrimination framework. This Note outlines how each step of a plaintiff’s successful disparate impact analysis is hindered by the opaque ways in which AI operates. This Note then proposes several policy reforms to mitigate these consequences. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 24 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 28