72 Fla. L. Rev. 331 (2020)
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In the age of artificial intelligence, highly sophisticated algorithms
have been deployed to provide analysis, detect patterns, optimize
solutions, accelerate operations, facilitate self-learning, minimize human
errors and biases, and foster improvements in technological products and
services. Notwithstanding these tremendous benefits, algorithms and
intelligent machines do not provide equal benefits to all. Just as the
“digital divide” has separated those with access to the Internet,
information technology, and digital content from those without, an
emerging and ever-widening “algorithmic divide” now threatens to take
away the many political, social, economic, cultural, educational, and
career opportunities provided by machine learning and artificial
intelligence. Although policy makers, commentators, and the mass media
have paid growing attention to algorithmic bias and the shortcomings of
machine learning and artificial intelligence, the algorithmic divide has yet
to attract much policy and scholarly attention. To fill the lacuna, this
Article draws on the digital divide literature to systematically analyze this
new inequitable gap between the technology haves and have-nots.
Utilizing an analytical framework that the Author developed in the early
2000s, the Article discusses the five attributes of the algorithmic divide:
awareness, access, affordability, availability, and adaptability. This
Article then turns to three major problems precipitated by an emerging
and fast-expanding algorithmic divide: algorithmic deprivation,
algorithmic discrimination, and algorithmic distortion. This Article
concludes by proposing seven non-exhaustive clusters of remedial
actions to help bridge this emerging and ever-widening divide.
Combining law, communications policy, ethical principles, institutional
mechanisms, and business practices, the Article fashions a holistic
response to foster equality in the age of artificial intelligence.