Prof. Schwarcz’s Research on Proxy Discrimination and Artificial Intelligence Featured in New York Times Opinion Section

A recent article in the New York Times Opinion section, “A.I. Is Changing Insurance,” featured research from Professor Daniel Schwarcz’s article, Proxy Discrimination in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, which is forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review and co-authored with Professor Anya Prince of the University of Iowa College of Law. The law review article explores how Artificial Intelligence will fundamentally undermine the capacity of insurance anti-discrimination law to prevent “rational” but nonetheless problematic forms of discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of genetic information or health status. Linking to Professor Schwarcz’s article, the New York Times article illustrates the risk of such “proxy discrimination” in insurance by explaining that “an algorithm might (correctly) conclude that joining a Facebook group for a BRCA1 mutation is an indicator of high risk for a health insurance company. Even though actual genetic information—which is illegal to use—is never put into the system, the algorithmic black box ends up reproducing genetic discrimination.”