Overview of the Application of Machine-Learning in Administrative Law

Editor’s Note: See also The Obama Administration’s Report on the Future of Artificial Intelligence.

From: Administrative Conference of the United States

This article was authored by Lauren Beadle, a student at American University Washington College of Law. The views expressed below are those of the author and do not represent the views of ACUS or the Federal Government.

Technology and administrative law are intertwined. The accessibility of computers increased public participation in agency rulemaking and improved access to government for citizens. E-rulemaking facilitates communication between the public and agency decision makers. The Social Security Administration serves millions of people through online forms and expects to expand its platform to serve more. Administrative law grappled with regulating new technology, particularly with the advent of computers and the internet, and will continue to regulate new advancements, like drones and driverless cars. However, administrative law faces a new challenge, how to regulate using technology to increase fairness, transparency, and efficiency.

ACUS previously adopted recommendations about integrating technology and administrative law including Recommendation 2018-3Electronic Case Management in Federal Administrative Adjudication, adopted at the most recent plenary, as well as Recommendation 2017-1,  Adjudication Materials on Agency WebsitesRecommendation 2011-1, Legal Considerations in e-Rulemaking, and Recommendation 2011-8Agency Innovations in E-Rulemaking. These recommendations focus on widely accepted practices (i.e. electronic case management and e-rulemaking). However, the adoption of machine-learning algorithms remains controversial and will likely continue to be at the center of debate.

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