In 2017, New York City passed a law to keep the city’s automated systems in check. Local Law 49, the first law of its kind in the nation, established a task force to examine the hidden algorithms governing life in New York and suggested a way for experts to study those tools for error and bias.
As automated systems take over more and more decision-making in cities around the country, the new group could ask key questions about the systems that are being used in New York. Which tools decide who is first — or last — in line for government services? Does automation favor some neighborhoods more than others? If so, who’s being left behind? The new task force could examine those questions and recommend changes where necessary.