Incident 502: Pennsylvania County's Family Screening Tool Allegedly Exhibited Discriminatory Effects

Description: Data analysis by the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) on Allegheny County's decision-support Family Screening Tool to predict child abuse or neglect risk found the tool resulting in higher screen-in rates for Black families and higher risk scores for households with disabled residents.


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Khoa Lam
The Devil is in the Details: Interrogating Values Embedded in the Allegheny Family Screening Tool · 2023


In 2017, the creators of the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST) published a report describing the development process for a predictive tool used to inform responses to calls to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania’s child welfare…

How Policy Hidden in an Algorithm is Threatening Families in This Pennsylvania County · 2023

You hear a knock on your door. Expecting a neighbor or perhaps a delivery, you open it, only to find a child welfare worker demanding entry. It doesn’t seem like you can refuse so you let them in and watch as they search every room, rummagi…

Not magic: Opaque AI tool may flag parents with disabilities · 2023

PITTSBURGH (AP) — For the two weeks that the Hackneys’ baby girl lay in a Pittsburgh hospital bed weak from dehydration, her parents rarely left her side, sometimes sleeping on the fold-out sofa in the room.

They stayed with their daughter …


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.