President Biden’s nominee to lead a top banking regulator bows out. Saule Omarova faced opposition from Republicans and bank lobbyists, who balked at her academic work proposing sweeping changes to the banking system. But skepticism from moderate Democrats ultimately doomed her nomination.
The House narrowly advances legislation to help avoid a U.S. default. Lawmakers voted 222-212 to approve a bill that makes it easier for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling soon, though both chambers must still approve separate legislation to do so. They also voted to avert billions of dollars’ worth of cuts to Medicare.
Amazon’s cloud outage hits a wide range of businesses. An hourslong disruption to Amazon Web Services interrupted a variety of services, from Disney+ to Roomba vacuums to Ticketmaster. It also threw a wrench into Amazon’s warehouse and logistics operations, near peak holiday shopping season.
Big companies fight A.I. bias in hiring
Some of the biggest names in corporate America are joining an effort to prevent artificial intelligence software, which H.R. departments increasingly use to screen résumés and assess job seekers’ skills, from delivering biased results. The Data & Trust Alliance, announced today, is backed by Facebook’s owner Meta, Nike and Walmart, among others, and will be led by the former American Express C.E.O. Ken Chenault and Sam Palmisano, the former head of IBM.
The group has designed a test to measure whether systems are promoting bias, particularly in the hiring process. Seemingly neutral data sets, when combined with others, can produce results that discriminate by race, gender or age. The group’s questionnaire, for example, asks about the use of “proxy” data including cellphone type, sports affiliations and social club memberships. The evaluation program has been developed and refined over the past year.
“This is not just adopting principles, but actually implementing something concrete,” Chenault said. The former Amex chief, who was previously on Facebook’s board, also rebuked a popular Silicon Valley ethos of debuting tech and only then addressing the consequences: “We’ve got to move past the era of ‘move fast and break things and figure it out later,’” he told The Times, alluding to a previous motto of Facebook.