On May 7, 2021, Relman Colfax partner Stephen Hayes testified before the House Financial Services Committee Task Force on Artificial Intelligence, during a hearing entitled “Equitable Algorithms: How Human-Centered AI Can Address Systemic Racism and Racial Justice in Housing and Financial Services.” Steve testified about how alternative data, artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to increase access to credit, but can also be misused and result in discrimination against people of color and members of other classes protected under fair lending laws. In prepared testimony and in an extended colloquy with Rep. Ayana Pressley and other Members of Congress, Steve highlighted how rigorous testing of models can forestall discriminatory effects, and outlined steps Congress and regulatory agencies can take to promote the fair use of algorithms.
Steve’s practice focuses on fair lending and fair housing, consumer protection, regulatory compliance and financial technology issues. He is the author of a number of recent articles on special purpose credit programs, student debt issues and civil rights accountability of for-profit schools. He leads the firm’s work as the independent fair lending monitor to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the fair lending implications of the Upstart lending platform, and to issue a series of periodic reports on its findings and recommendations.